Fried egg

The Grocer has this week launched a new Key Value Items (KVI) tracker to monitor prices and promotions on some of the most popular grocery products – and it’s the price of eggs that is rising fastest across the major multiples, with five of the leading grocery retailers increasing prices on the staple. 

The KVI tracker, which will be conducted every week, is made up of approximately 200 items across 10 categories, including own label products such as wholemeal bread and tinned tomatoes, and branded items like Kellogg’s Corn Flakes and Coca-Cola.

Developed in conjunction with Assosia, the products will be tracked in up to seven retailers (Aldi, Asda, Lidl, Morrisons, Sainsbury’s, Tesco and Waitrose), with the ability to examine display and base prices, price changes and price inflation – as well as highlighting promotions. This detail allows readers to narrow in on individual products and retailer strategies surrounding them.

“With a cost of living crisis raging, the launch of our KVI tracker could not be more timely,” said Adam Leyland, editor-in-chief of The Grocer.

“I know retailers and suppliers will find it invaluable to see how and where prices are being increased (or not) and how different retailers stack up on some of the best-selling items across the leading grocery retailers, including the discounters.”

The KVI tracker will complement the long-running Grocer 33 price comparison survey. As well as more items, and available exclusively online here, the KVI will not change from week to week.

It also differs from the Grocer 33 in that there is no winner with the tracker, “as it is not always possible to get a match across all the retailers involved”, explained Leyland. “But including the discounters will ensure greater transparency, so readers of The Grocer know exactly what’s going on,” he added. 

Kay Staniland, director of Assosia, said the creation of an ongoing KVI tracker was “an exciting addition to the weekly Grocer 33 baskets”. 

“Having a static range of products across the retailers with the ability to track base price, promo price and multibuy unit prices will provide not only insights into inflation, but also what retailers and suppliers are doing to try to reduce the impact of those increases to consumers with promotional activity,” Staniland added.

The KVI tracker reveals some interesting insights this week, with many products up week on week and year on year, including the price of eggs, which is particularly topical given the current rationing in several supermarkets caused by a shortage. 

Own label six-packs of eggs are up in price again, across Aldi, Lidl, Morrisons, Sainsbury’s and Tesco, amid ongoing supply issues and bird flu. This puts the cheapest box of eggs at £1.09 at Aldi, up from 99p on 24 November.

Only Asda and Waitrose have not increased the price in the last week, but both have pushed through price hikes in recent weeks, and are relatively expensive at £1.25 and £1.75 respectively. 

Every retailer has seen a steady increase in the price of eggs over the last year, with a pack now on average 40.9% more expensive year on year. On 28 November 2021 the average cost was 93p. The average price recorded this morning was £1.31.

The fastest average increase in the last week was on Ambrosia rice pudding and Herbal Essences shampoo, both up 10% week on week, but this was linked to the ending of a promotion on these two lines in Sainsbury’s. 

The price of Persil Non-Bio Laundry Detergent also rose by 50p. Again this was down to the product coming off promotion, with Sainsbury’s and Asda quietly increasing the price. Before the promotion, Persil was £6, which was then dropped to £5.50. Off promotion, the laundry liquid has risen to £6.50.

Asda and Sainsbury’s have both increased the price of their olive oil. At Asda it’s up to £5.10 from £4.25 last week, and Sainsbury’s has increased the price to £5.15 from £4.30. This makes Asda and Sainsbury’s the most expensive retailers for olive oil, above even Waitrose at £4.85.

The price of staples are up in several retailers: kidney beans have increased by 10p in Asda to 70p, and in Waitrose they are up 5p to 70p. Sugar has increased in Aldi to 95p, up from 85p on 24 November, the fourth price increase since the start of October. Sainsbury’s has increased its sugar by the same amount, making it 20p more expensive than the same time last year.