Tesco and Sainsbury’s accused of removing cheaper food from sale as prices soar

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Both Sainsbury’s and Tesco have been accused of trimming back the number of items in their Price Lock and own-brand ranges amid wider price rises for groceries. The price of food has gone up by almost 10 per cent in one year, according to shocking figures that show the pain consumers face at supermarket checkouts.

The Mirror reports that Sainsbury’s has reduced the number of items in its Price Lock scheme by more than a fifth this year.

Price Lock guarantees last for eight weeks at a time and are often linked to the prices in rival supermarket Aldi – often voted the cheapest in the UK. However, Sainsbury’s has around 1,630 Price Lock items now, compared to 2,100 at the start of 2022, Retail Gazette reports.

Yesterday, The Mirror also reported that Tesco has been reducing the size of its value own-brand range – despite rising costs.

Research has found that the supermarket’s own-brand value range has decreased over the last 12 months, while the premium tier sector has grown during the same time period. Analysis has found that the value “Exclusively at Tesco” range consists of only 316 lines as of August 4, 2022, compared with 339 items at the same time last year.

According to exclusive Assosia data, there were 422 items in 2019.

Ben Reynolds, Deputy chief executive of food charity Sustain, said: “With more and more people on the breadline, it beggars belief that a major supermarket would reduce the size of its value range year on year.”

However, Tesco said that it is “more committed than ever to providing our customers with great value” and has introduced other ways to offer value prices, including its Clubcard and Aldi Price Match range.

Tesco also said that when all the products in the Exclusively at Tesco, Aldi Price Match and Low Everyday Prices are added up, the total has increased from 400 in 2019 to 2,500 today.

Sainsbury’s has been approached for comment.

Earlier this year Sainsbury’s cut prices on 150 items for shoppers using the My Nectar Prices app.

How your weekly supermarket shop is going up

Recent figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show food prices have gone up by 9.8 per cent in a year. Within this, the ONS said the cost of milk, cheese and eggs had gone up 14.8 per cent. 

Meat prices are up by 11.1 per cent and coffee, tea and cocoa by 10.3 per cent. 

Bread was up 9.6 per cent, and fish 8 per cent.

The price of fruit is up 6.9 per cent, and vegetables by 9 per cent.

Sugar, jam and chocolate prices have risen by 3.9 per cent.

Meanwhile, there has been an 8.8 per cent increase in the price of fruit juice, soft drinks and mineral water.

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