In response to the price cuts announced by Tesco and Asda, communications director at Safeway, Kevin Hawkins, told the BBC’s Radio 4 Today programme that he viewed the reductions with a big touch of scepticism.
He said: "We have these so-called price wars about three times a year. Typically in the two or three months leading up to one of these initiatives, prices are increased."
He warned that while the price reductions were being highlighted, the cost of other goods would go up.
Tesco director John Gildersleeve said that the supermarket’s customers “are telling us they need to tighten their belts this year”. He added: “We've listened and taken pounds off their shopping in a bid to help.”
An Asda spokeswoman said of the chain's price cuts on its George clothing range were “permanent”.
She added “The reason we can do this is because we were bought by Wal-Mart in 1999 so we have much more buying power."

Tesco and Asda are set to announce plans for more than £100m worth of price cuts this week, reported the Sunday Telegraph.
Tesco will announce more than £80m worth of price cuts on a range of food and non-food products. Asda will cut prices on many key items in its George clothing range, including jeans which will retail at just £6.
The paper said the price cuts would raise fears that Sainsbury and Safeway might lose further market share this year to Tesco and Asda. Smaller chains including Iceland and Somerfield are also vulnerable to a price war.

Drinks group Allied Domecq could come under fire at next month's agm after it emerged that Tony Hales, former chief executive, was paid an extra £1.3m for loss of office, according to the Daily Telegraph.
Hales received £1m when he left the group in 1999, but he sued the company for more compensation. Investors are understood to be surprised at the large size of the settlement, the paper added.