France forces big food firms to cut prices

STORY: Top food companies in France have pledged to cut prices on hundreds of products from next month.

And if they don't follow through, they'll be in big trouble and face penalties.

That's according to Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire Friday (June 9).

He said pasta, poultry and vegetable oil will be some of the products made cheaper.

Le Maire also warned that if the 75 food companies that make 80% of what the French eat don't live up to their promise he could name and shame them to the public.

The government is angry supermarket prices have hit record levels in recent months, all while the cost for raw materials has fallen for the industry.

Le Maire had previously threatened to take back what he called 'undue' profits from food companies.

He said he'd hit them with special taxes if they didn't pass on falling raw material prices to consumers.

Food inflation is a concern for European governments, and France has been aggressive in pushing price cuts.

Hellman's mayonnaise-maker Unilever said it was one of the companies authorities told to cut prices next month.

Large rivals like Nestle and Kraft Heinz did not have an immediate comment.