Simon Roberts

Sainsbury’s CEO Simon Roberts

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Sainsbury’s has revealed its investment in keeping prices competitive during the cost of living crisis is set to top £500m.

The supermarket said this morning, with the latest planned investments, a total £500m of savings would have been delivered to customers since Sainsbury’s initiated its plan to put food back at the heart of the business in March 2021.

Sainsbury’s added the amount included investment in prices in the previous financial year on top of money that will be committed in the 12 months ended March 2023.

The supermarket’s activity includes a Price Lock campaign that keeps prices steady for at least eight weeks on more than 1,800 essential items such as milk, eggs, meat, fish and fruit & veg. It also has a similar Aldi price match campaign to Tesco.

Sainsbury’s said these would continue to be key areas of investment.

CEO Simon Roberts added: “The cost of living is having a huge impact on our customers’ and colleagues’ lives and we understand that, right now, every penny counts.

“We are determined to stand side by side with our customers and we are relentlessly focused on driving savings that can be reinvested into keeping food prices low.

“Customers can be reassured that when they shop at Sainsbury’s they are getting fantastic value and quality, which means they do not need to go anywhere else to get low prices.”

The supermarket said it was “determined” that doing everything it could to keep prices as low as possible would be its “top priority” for the year ahead.

Sainsbury’s annual profits surged to £854m in the year ended 5 March 2022, but the chain warned its bottom line would decline in the current financial year as a result of soaring inflation.

Last week, Kantar revealed grocery price inflation had hit its highest level for 13 years, sending more shoppers through the doors of the discounters.

Aldi and Lidl both increased market share in the 12 weeks to 15 May, with Aldi topping 9% for the first time and Lidl hitting a high of 6.9%.

Sainsbury’s currently holds 14.8% share of the market.

Morning update

DTC ready meal provider Parsley Box has partnered with a number of British brands to create an ‘Afternoon Tea for Two’ to celebrate the Platinum Jubilee.

The hampers include cakes from royal baker Fiona Cairn’s afternoon tea selection, Yorkshire-baked all-butter sultana scones, Rodda’s Cornish clotted cream and strawberry jam from the Wilkin & Sons.

All 4,000 hampers sold out following marketing to existing customers on the Parsley Box website and a promotion in the Daily Mail.

It is the first time the group has expanded beyond its usual offering of ambient ready meals aimed at the over-65s market.

CEO Kevin Dorren said: “We are delighted to be working with so many highly regarded brands to enable our customers to celebrate the Queen’s Jubilee in a fitting fashion.

“Utilising iconic brands will make this occasion special and there has been an excellent take up from our 65+ demographic customers, many of whom will want to celebrate our Queen’s amazing achievements over many years.

“It is opportunities like this which match our social and commercial purpose with that of our customers.”

The FTSE 100 opened 0.3% higher this week to 7,608.56pts.

Early risers included McBride, up 3.8% to 33.4p, Deliveroo, up 3.9% to 89.3p, and Sainsbury’s, up 1.2% to 233.8p.

In the red so far are THG, down 2.4% to 148.3p, Bakkavor, down 2% to 100.1p, and Science in Sport, down 1.6% to 59p.

This week in the City

It is looking like a quiet week with half term underway and the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee to kick off a four-day bank holiday weekend.

Tomorrow looks to be the busiest day on the markets for food and drink as discounter B&M European Value Retail releases annual results and Nielsen reveals its latest monthly grocery till roll figures.

On Thursday, in Europe, spirits group Remy Cointreau reports quarterly figures, as does Spam owner Hormel Foods in the US.