Food prices at the UK's 'Big Four' supermarkets (Tesco, Asda, Sainsbury’s and Morrisons) have increased by 1.4% in the last three months, according to GlobalData’s Food Price Index, as part of their increased supplier costs are being passed on to consumers.
While the continuing price war among the grocers limits the increases, the supposed adoption of ‘everyday low pricing’ (EDLP) strategies has not stopped a high degree of promotional use, as revealed by the fluctuations in the cost of a weighted basket of goods at each of the Big Four.
Tesco prices are the most volatile, beginning the period as the most expensive before a swathe of price cuts saw it become the cheapest in the run up to Easter, and then rising to the most expensive by the start of May. While consistently being one of the more expensive grocers, Sainsbury’s exhibited the least variation in price.
The run-up to Easter weekend (16 April) was the most competitive period (in that there was the smallest gap between the highest and lowest cost of the basket) as grocers battled to win consumers with high-profile marketing, which was heavily centred on cut-price alcohol.