Asda might be rolling back prices every day, but many of them aren't rolling all that far, as research by The Grocer reveals up to half Asda's price cuts are only 1p reductions.

Last week Asda announced that it would cut a further 5,000 prices by Easter, reaching a total of 12,500 price cuts this year. The retailer said this was part of a transparency guarantee for customers to give "value they can trust".

But as the first wave of the new price cuts were brought in this week, pricing data from The Grocer 33 shopping basket database - comprising several hundred items across 12 categories - found that while a fifth of the Asda items tracked by The Grocer fell in price this week, more than half of these were only cut by 1p. This was not the case at rival retailers, though they did have fewer price cuts week-on-week.

Conversely, less than one in 10 of the prices that rose at Asda last week only rose by a penny.

Kay Staniland, MD of promotional consultancy Assosia, said the move looked like grandstanding. "Having reported last week that it was dropping bogofs in favour of being transparent in its price cuts, such small cuts could be seen as simply trying to retain the cheapest title rather than passing on any real savings to the consumer."

"Our own research has also seen a rise in the number of cuts of just 1p, accounting for anything from 20% to 50% of reductions. As a retailer seen as consistently good on price, and cheapest year-on-year in The Grocer 33, this sort of tactic could very well backfire."

Asda has had the cheapest basket in The Grocer's weekly survey for all nine weeks of this year, and has the lowest average basket price of the surveyed retailers. However, The Grocer Price Index inflation tracker shows that like the other big four, Asda's prices have risen this year.

The weak pound and last year's commodity spikes mean Asda's prices are 2.6% higher at the beginning of March than they were in December, despite price cuts and promotions on many items.

A spokeswoman for Asda confirmed that 1p price reductions were included in Asda's count of its price cuts, but insisted the retailer offered good value to customers.

"While it's fair to say some of our products have come down by a few pennies, overall since the start of the year products reduced in price have come down by 11% on average," she said. "As The Grocer 33 shows, week in week out we are the undisputed price leader. That's why by Easter we will have cut 12,500 prices net since 1 January, with dozens of deep Rollbacks on the way."

Asda's Rollback offers include long-running offers such as 3-for-£10 on wine and 100 frozen lines reduced to £1.