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Tesco has slashed prices across its fresh meat and poultry aisles after vowing to plough investment into everyday low prices.

The supermarket has reduced the price of over 120 fresh red meat SKUs including premium, budget and standard beef, lamb and pork lines, as well as those sold at its meat counters, research by The Grocer reveals [Brand View 29 August 2018].

It’s also cut prices on over 20 poultry lines, including chicken thighs, breasts, drumsticks, wings and whole birds.

It means Tesco is now 21% cheaper for fresh red meat than it was a year ago, with the retailer’s average price for beef down by 29%, lamb by 8% and pork by 9% compared with August 2018. Its poultry prices have also fallen by 9% on average year on year.

Prices have been cut on both premium and budget lines. A 227g budget rump steak is now 13.7% cheaper at £2.39, while a 330g premium British ribeye is 12.1% cheaper at £7.92. A 365g pack of Willow Farms chicken mini fillets is down 11.5% to £1.77, while a 400g pack of premium cornfed free-range chicken fillets is 15.8% cheaper at £4.34.

Aldi raises the steaks with 36-day dry-aged Aberdeen Angus beef

At the counters, some prices have fallen by as much as 50%, such as a 200g lamb loin chop, down from £4.80 to £2.80.

The reductions mean Tesco is now rivalling Asda and Sainsbury’s on price for some popular meat SKUs. It has slashed the price of a 400g pack of diced beef by 70p to £3, for example, which compares with £3.70 in Asda and £3.55 in Sainsbury’s. A 500g pack of lean beef mince (5% fat), meanwhile, is now 10p cheaper at £3.39 in Tesco, compared with £3.31 in Asda and £3.50 in Sainsbury’s.

Tesco did not comment on the price cuts. However, the supermarket promised wide-ranging price reductions after scrapping its Brand Guarantee promise earlier this year.

Announcing it had already cut the price of 260 products by between 10%-50% in June, Tesco’s chief customer officer Alessandra Bellini said: “We’ll continue to work hard to offer our customers great quality food at great prices.”

It comes as the livestock sector warns that the long, hot summer could push up retail prices for meat this winter, with feed costs surging after prolonged dry weather hit pastures and crops. “Cattle and lamb prices have eased a lot since around April/May time when retailers and processors were saying they wouldn’t be able to promote this year because it’s so expensive,” says AHDB head of retail and foodservice ­engagement Matt Southam. “But there could still be higher costs to come.”

However, Tesco had “clearly decided to take a lead on price” given the tough market conditions in retail, he adds. “Meat is a good driver to get people into stores and summer is not a bad time to do it versus winter because that’s when the real pull comes on demand.”