Sainsbury and Asda launch price offensive

By Rod Addy contact

- Last updated on GMT

Shoppers can make significant savings off the back of the supermarket price war
Shoppers can make significant savings off the back of the supermarket price war

Related tags: Supermarket, Asda, Aldi

Sainsbury and Asda have announced massive price cuts less than a week into the New Year as the traditional supermarkets continue to feel the menace of discounters Aldi and Lidl.

Sainsbury is using an annual £150M price investment to cut regular prices on more than 1,000 of its most popular products, including British essentials for a Sunday lunch or a full English breakfast. 

Customers would see more than 700 new regular prices in the retailer’s stores this week in addition to more than 200 put in place following a first round of cuts in November, it said.

These would be in addition to the thousands of promotions that the supermarket ran each week, it stressed.

1,000 price cuts

“We are investing £150M a year for the next three years in some of our customers’ most popular purchases, with a total of 1,000 prices cut since we announced this investment in November,”​ said Sainsbury ceo Mike Coupe.

This will come as welcome news to customers who might be feeling the pinch after Christmas. These lower every day prices are a part of our ongoing commitment to offering our customers great quality products at great prices.”

Deals included 30p knocked off the price of own-label sandwich loaves, 60p lopped off 450g packs of own-label lean diced beef and £1 slashed off the price of 1.35g whole chickens, Sainsbury said.

Invest £300M

Meanwhile, Asda announced earlier yesterday (January 6) that it would invest £300M in the first quarter of 2015 on reducing prices across 2,500 bestselling items including weekly essentials and big brands.

The price cuts formed part of its five-year strategy to invest £1bn in price and £250M in quality, revealed last year. The supermarket chain called the initiative its Biggest Ever Rollback. And it claimed it would bring its price positioning even closer to the discounters.

Basket essentials, such as fruit, vegetables, cereals, nappies, toilet roll, milk, eggs, meat and fish were included in the price slashing extravaganza – as well as big brands, it said.

Barry Williams, chief merchandising officer for food at Asda said: “After a great Christmas with the family, January is the month we all start looking at the size of our waists and our wallets.

Biggest Ever Rollback

“We invest in price year round but we’re kicking off January with our Biggest Ever Rollback … We’re going further than ever before, rolling back those every day, can’t live without items at a bigger percentage than we’ve ever been able to do previously.

“With hundreds of products at 50p, and even more at 15% less than normal, we’re aiming to make a big difference for families in their weekly shop.”

Some price cuts would continue indefinitely, while others would come to an end by the end of March, the retailer said.

Products included Birds Eye Fish Fingers, reduced from £4.24 to £2.77, own-label free range eggs, reduced from £1.25 to 89p, and Kellogg’s Crunchy Nut Cornflakes, reduced from £3.14 to £1.64.

Big price cuts

A spokeswoman for Morrisons told FoodManufacture.co.uk: “We are investing £1bn over three years in Morrisons’ offer and that includes continuing big price cuts.

“Our Match & More card also automatically compares customers’ comparable baskets with the major supermarkets as well as with Aldi and Lidl, and if we’re not the cheapest, gives the difference back in points which quickly turn into pounds.”

Tesco declined to comment ahead of its January 8 statement.

Unruffled

Meanwhile, both Aldi and Lidl remained unruffled by the actions of the major supermarkets.

Giles Hurley, joint md of corporate buying at Aldi, stated: “We are not concerned about temporary price reductions from other retailers. As a discounter, we will never be beaten on price and it is consistent everyday low pricing that is driving Aldi’s success.

“At Aldi we give shoppers exactly what they want; high quality products at unbeatable low prices.”

A spokeswoman for Lidl said: Our customers love shopping with us because they know that if they come in to store today, tomorrow or in a year’s time, we will always remain committed to offering them quality products at everyday low prices.”

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