The humble mince pie has emerged as the new footfall driver in the Christmas price wars.
Average mince pie prices have fallen 7% year on year across 20 SKUs in the big five despite fears over rising ingredient costs in the wake of the Brexit vote, exclusive research by The Grocer using BrandView has revealed.
The biggest savings are on standard own-label lines, with six own-label mince pies now retailing at an average of 96p - a 6% drop from last year, and six own-label iced mince pies are now priced at an average of £1.07 - down 16% year on year [Brand View 52 w/e 7 December 2016].
In contrast, prices for own-label premium mince pies are marginally higher than last year at an average of £2.04 for six, up from £2 last year, while six Mr Kipling mince pies are currently 15% more expensive at an average of £1.58.
Shoppers can find offers on various SKUs, with Tesco and Morrisons running two-for-£2 deals on selected branded and own-label lines, while, Asda is offering 10p off six own-label mince pies and Waitrose has a two-for-£5 deal on 12 premium mini mince pies.Sainsbury’s has favoured price cuts across its own-label range, taking 30p off six standard mince pies to £1 and 50p off six premium mince pies to £2, while hiking the price of six Mr Kipling pies by 10p to £1.50.
The price cuts come amid warning that ingredients like flour, sugar, butter and raisins are becoming more expensive due to the weakening of sterling in the wake of the Brexit referendum vote.
… and brandy butter cheaper too
Supermarkets are also offering lower prices on brandy butter, with average prices down 4% year on year across 12 SKUs in the big five despite a recent surge in dairy prices [Brand View 52 w/e 7 December 2016].
In contrast to mince pies, the biggest price cuts have been on premium SKUs, with Tesco slashing the price of 150g own-label premium brandy butter by 10p to £2.30 and Sainsbury’s taking 35p off 200g of own-label premium brandy butter to £2.50. A 200g tub of own-label brandy butter is now priced at an average of £.188, up 2% year on year.
Brandy cream prices have remained flat, with a 250ml pot of own label brandy pouring cream priced at £2 on average.
“Mince pies are a headline product for Christmas, and it’s all about baskets and footfall at this time of year,” said Martin Wood, IRI head of strategic insight for retail.
“Manufacturers would like to negotiate price increases, but the retailers are under pressure to keep prices as stable as they can.”
The MSSP for six Mr Kipling mince pies had remained unchanged at £1.79, a spokesman for the brand confirmed, adding the retail price was “at the sole discretion of each retailer and may vary accordingly”.
The big five have also pushed down prices on a standard own-label Christmas pudding (454g), which is 2% cheaper on average at £3.13, despite warnings by Mintec last month that the combined cost of key ingredients for the festive favourite are up 21% year on year. However, an own label premium Christmas pudding (454g) is now priced at an average of £5.64, up 13% year on year, and a gluten free own label Christmas pudding (454g) is now £3.94 on average, up 25% compared to last year.