Booker has cut the price of bread and milk as part of its ongoing Everyday Essentials strategy.

The C&C giant first launched Everyday Essentials in 2007, pledging to lock down the price of key groceries for long fixed periods to help independent retail customers compete with the multiples.

Kingsmill has been dropped to 65p a loaf this week if customers buy a tray of 10, while both full- fat and semi-skimmed milk in two-litre, one-litre and pints is now 85p, 59p or 35p respectively. The prices were guaranteed for nine months until the end of September, said Booker sales director for retail Steve Fox, and offered retailers margins of more than 36%.

"Bread and milk are the two most important products to c-stores," he said. "By guaranteeing the price to September, we are giving customers the confidence they will be able to offer their shoppers consistent pricing. That helps them to compete with the multiples and increase footfall."

Everyday Essentials had been "extremely successful" since launch, with a greater number of customers buying into the range, he said.

Booker has also introduced Robert Wiseman's 1% fat milk brand The One into depots. It is included in Everyday Essentials at 79p for a two-litre bottle.

Last week, Booker reported a 6.7% increase in total and like-for-like sales for the 16 weeks to 1 January, while like-for-like tobacco sales increased 7.9%.