Sainsbury's Hovis price cut

Sainsbury’s has intensified the bread price war by slashing large Hovis loaves to just 75p - the lowest a large branded loaf has been sold at in four years.

The retailer yesterday (4 February) dropped the price of 800g Hovis soft white and wholemeal loaves, and 750g Best of Both loaves from £1. It also dropped nine of its 800g own-label loaves from 75p. The cuts mean Sainsbury’s currently has the cheapest large branded and standard own-label loaves of the big four retailers [].

Sainsbury’s has advertised the new Hovis prices in national newspaper ads, where it described 75p as a “New regular price”.

A spokesman for the retailer told The Grocer: “This is all part of giving our customers great food at fair, regular prices.”

The seven Hovis loaves reduced this week by Sainsbury’s were the same seven Tesco dropped to 78p in a raft of cuts it announced early in January. The same seven loaves had been delisted by Asda at the end of last year.

The last time large branded loaves were sold this cheaply was four years ago in spring 2011, when Hovis loaves were again 75p.

Own Label White Sliced Medium loaf 800g
Asda £0.75
Morrisons £0.59
Sainsbury’s £0.55
Tesco £0.75
Hovis Soft White - Medium 800g
Asda n/a
Morrisons £1.00
Sainsbury’s £0.75
Tesco £0.78
Prices on 4 February 2015

Morrisons is next-cheapest after Sainsbury for own-label 800g loaves, with six white and wholemeal lines priced 59p each.

Lower prices are further bad news for bakers who have seen sales of wrapped loaves fall as shopper cut back and switch to alternatives such as wraps and thins. This has contributed to combined unit sales across the three major brands and own label falling 4.5% year on year, but price deflation has pushed value down 9.6% [IRI 52 w/e 6 December 2014].

On average, the price of larger loaves (750g-plus) that have been stocked by the major retailers over the past two years dropped 6.8% from January 2013 to last month.