Nestlé increased the price of its products in Latin America by 7.7%

These products are more expensive in supermarkets 1:01 London (CNN Business) — Nestlé, the world’s largest food and drink company, raised prices by more than 5% in the first three months of this year by moving increased costs to buyers. Consumers in North America were hit the hardest, with prices rising 8.5%, the company said in its first-quarter earnings report. Latin America saw the second largest increase, with the price of Nestlé products rising 7.7%. CEO Mark Schneider noted that more increases are on the horizon. “We have raised prices responsibly and saw sustained consumer demand,” he said in a statement. “Cost inflation continues to rise sharply, which will require further pricing and mitigation actions over the course of the year.” World inflation skyrockets. US consumer price inflation hit 8.5% in March, a 40-year high. In Europe it stands at 7.5%, its highest level since the European Union began collecting data some 25 years ago. Prices for goods leaving Germany’s factories — which fuel retail prices — rose 30% in March from the same month last year. That is the biggest increase in 73 years. Energy has been the biggest driver of inflation, but global food prices are soaring too. Nestle reported a 5.4% increase in total sales for the quarter and expects sales to grow 5% for the full year. Brands such as Purina PetCare, Nescafé and KitKat were some of the biggest contributors to first quarter growth. But higher costs could drag down profits. The company forecasts its underlying profit margin this year to be between 17% and 17.5%, compared to 17.4% in 2021. Global food prices reached their highest level on record at the beginning of this year when the pandemic, bad weather and disrupted agriculture threatened the food security of millions of people. The Russian invasion of Ukraine has only made the situation worse, driving up the prices of basic goods such as wheat and vegetable oils. World Bank President David Malpass warned that skyrocketing food prices risked a “human catastrophe” in an interview with the BBC this week, saying prices could rise by as much as 37%. as a result of the war in Ukraine. The Swiss giant withdrew some of its best-known brands, including KitKat and Nesquik, from Russia following President Vladimir Putin’s order to invade Ukraine in February, but continues to supply essential food products on humanitarian grounds. Julia Horowitz contributed reporting.