Inflationary pressures have forced Warburtons to cut the number of breads in its Soft Pittas from five to four – a reduction of 20% – while keeping the rsp at £1.49.
In a Twitter conversation this week, Warburtons explained the move responded to “feedback from consumers” on how best to pass on soaring input costs.
“Rising costs are impacting all businesses. Ours is no exception, so by reducing the number in the pack we can ensure we keep this popular product at an affordable price,” it said.
Consumer testing found people favoured paying the same for fewer pittas, rather being charged extra for the original five-pack, a Warburtons spokeswoman told The Grocer.
The change was driven by soaring wheat and energy prices in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The baker had spent an extra £118m alone on flour in the past year, it revealed.
Warburtons had been “impacted by considerable increases” to costs, the spokeswoman said. “As a result, we have had to implement a cost price increase,” she added, stressing that shelf prices were set by retailers.
Assosia data shows more than 100 Warburtons lines have risen in price across major supermarkets since the start of 2023.
Toastie White Thick Sliced Bread 400g, for instance, rose 5.3% from 95p to £1 in Asda on 16 January, in Sainsbury’s on 19 January, and in Tesco on 21 January. It also increased 4.5%, from £1.10 to £1.15, in Morrisons on 16 January.
“This is an unprecedented period of inflation and we are working hard to keep prices down and competitive,” a Morrisons spokeswoman said.
Sainsbury’s insisted it was “committed to offering our customers great choice and value” – and Tesco stressed its product range catered to a variety of household budgets.
The Grocer has approached Asda for comment.