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Has Sainsbury’s focused recent price cuts on fresh produce?

By Chris Elliott

Following Asda’s announcement earlier in the day, Sainsbury’s published a press release on Tuesday 6 January 2015 announcing its own series of price cuts.

Sainsbury’s said it ‘is using an annual £150m price investment to cut regular prices on over 1,000 of the most popular items in customers’ baskets.’ The retailer has committed to this annual investment over the next three years and claimed ‘customers will see over 700 new regular prices in supermarkets’ immediately.

While Asda focused its price cuts on rollback deals, Sainsbury’s has concentrated its price cuts on base price reductions.

Brand View has analysed a selection of categories: Bakery, Cereals, Cold and Hot Drinks, Dairy, Eggs, Fresh and Frozen Fish, Fresh Fruit, Fresh and Frozen Meat, Spreads, Table sauce, Tins and Jars, and Fresh Vegetables.

The average base price of these categories has dropped 0.79 percent since 1 December. The price cuts Sainsbury’s announced were effective from 8 January with the average base price dropping 0.7 percent overnight.

Sainsbury's average base price

Segmenting the average base price changes by category shows that fresh goods saw the largest reductions – Fresh Meat dropped the most at 1.73 percent, followed by Fresh Fish at 0.84 percent. The next two categories with the greatest reductions are both ambient – Tins and Jars, and Table Sauce – decreasing by 0.79 and 0.54 percent respectively.

Percentage change in Sainsbury's base price

Sainsbury’s pledged its price cuts would reduce the cost of its most popular products including all the essentials for a full English breakfast. Brand View has compiled its own full English breakfast basket using each retailer’s shelf price on 9 January 2015 which shows Asda to be the best value retailer – some 8.7 percent cheaper than its nearest competitor Sainsbury’s.

Tesco finished third – just 10 pence more expensive than Sainsbury’s; Morrisons, in fourth, was 3.1 percent more expensive than Tesco. Finally, Waitrose finished 27.9 percent more expensive than Asda, with the price of bacon being the greatest difference between the two.

Table of comparative costs

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