"From Hershey to Clorox and Kleenex maker Kimberly-Clark, major consumer-products companies have announced plans to boost U.S. prices further or more broadly than previously proposed this year, signaling that the fastest inflation rate in a generation may not ebb soon.
"Product makers generally hold conversations with U.S. retailers at year-end about price hikes planned for the following year. But company executives disclosed during recent quarterly results that they are taking a more aggressive approach this year to protect margins.
"Clorox … said it plans to raise prices on 85% of its products by the end of June, up from a previously planned 70%, with some of the company's brands set for multiple rounds of price hikes … Chocolate maker Hershey said it would raise prices further in the first half of 2022 in the United States on top of price increases that will go into effect in the first quarter ended March 31, 2022 … Kimberly-Clark said last week it would undertake more price increases -- following four rounds of price hikes in 2021 -- as pulp, labor and transportation costs continue to bite.
"Consumer packaged goods companies also have pulled back on some of the discounts they are offering consumers, adding to the effect of price hikes."
The story notes that "Cadbury Chocolate and Oreo cookies maker Mondelez International last month disclosed that there could be 'multiple pricing waves' this year to keep up with inflation. Colgate said it was fast tracking a round of price hikes to the first half instead of the second half of the year."
It isn't just CPG companies, of course. The Wall Street Journal reports this morning that "Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. said it increased menu prices again and is likely to raise them further this year, as its chief executive officer said higher costs are unlikely to abate. Higher menu prices helped the burrito chain boost sales in recent months as it pursues a plan to build hundreds more stores in the coming year, the company said."