co-operative store

The Co-op has waded into the price war on protein by slashing prices on more than 200 own-brand British meat & poultry SKUs.

The retailer today (2 March) announced prices would drop by an average of 10% across meat and poultry goods, with some lines as much as 50% cheaper.

It has also introduced a new multibuy offer of 2 for £6 on its British chicken fillets and mince, and claimed the new reductions would save the average Co-op shopper £125 a year.

The move on meat marks the latest round of price commitments from the Co-op, which last year introduced its Fresh Three fruit & vegetable promotion and slashed prices on hundreds of everyday staples like bread and bacon.

The retailer claims its total investment on prices will top £200m this year, with thousands of products reduced since it unveiled its pricing strategy two years ago.

“We are building momentum and attracting more shoppers into our stores and our price investment programme is ensuring our convenience offering remains highly competitive while restating our commitment to sourcing British products,” said retail chief executive Steve Murrells.

“Industry data shows that our strategy is taking us in the right direction, and further price reductions will serve to grow our convenience appeal to shoppers.”

Backing British

At the same time, the Co-op revealed plans to boost support for British farmers in 2016 by extending its British lamb season, widening its British fruit & veg offer and launching a new training initiative for young farmers.

The retailer confirmed it invested £781m last year as part of its three-year £1.5bn commitment to sourcing more own-brand meat, fresh produce and dairy products from the UK, rather than abroad.

All its own-brand meat is now 100% British, with the exception of New Zealand lamb and Danish bacon, which are offered alongside British varieties. In 2016, it plans to sell British lamb for longer and stock three exclusively British lamb lines all year round.

It has also committed to sourcing 100% UK peas, broad beans, carrots and parsnips in 2016, while working with growers to increase UK supplies of asparagus, mushrooms and leeks.

The Co-op Farming Pioneers programme will provide young farmers in the retailer’s supply chain with “in-depth, free training” on topics including negotiation skills, keys to business growth and the concept of lean management.