Asda has admitted that adverts for super-sized tubs of coffee placed in the business press were aimed at catering trade buyers.
Last week, the supermarket advertised a 978g drum for cafetières and filters at a cut price of £2, rather than the usual £4, in The Grocer. The same ad was run in national newspapers.
A spokesman for the retailer boasted that the product was cheaper than equivalents available from some wholesalers and had been sourced by US parent Wal-Mart. "We are looking to take some trade away from wholesalers," he added.
But Steve Parfett, MD of wholesaler Parfetts, said he was more baffled by the ad than concerned. "I'm not even sure who it's aimed at. I think there are concerns about whether they will move into wholesale. But at the moment I don't think they're a huge threat to us."