Richard Walker Iceland

Iceland Foods has extended a price freeze on its value frozen food range for another year, the retailer announced on Thursday, alongside a wider set of price initiatives aimed at helping customers cope with rising living costs.

The supermarket will work to keep the price of more than 600 items from its £1 or less range as close to or under £1 as possible throughout 2023 it said, an extension to a freeze first announced in 2022.

Iceland will also continue to give customers over 60 discounts on Tuesdays, an initiative first introduced in May 2022. It is also repeating an offer to provide members of its Bonus Card benefits scheme an additional £2 when spending a £15 free school meal voucher during the next half term break.

“Many families are deeply worried about the tough times that lie ahead this year, which is why we have stepped up to extend our price freeze on our frozen range, giving our customers the assurance that the prices of the products they love will remain low,” said Iceland Foods executive chairman Richard Walker. 

“We have a responsibility to support our customers in any way we can and offer great value when people need it most.”

The £1 or less range – which includes pizzas, frozen veg and ready meals – accounts for around 20% of Iceland’s products, the company said. 

The announcement comes as the latest data from the ONS shows that food and non-alcoholic drink inflation rose by 16.5% in the 12 months to November, leaving food prices at their highest level since September 1977.

Breads and cereals saw the largest rise, with prices increasing by 1.9% during the month, largely driven by the war in Ukraine affecting wheat exports. The price of other products likes eggs have hiked over the past year as a result of supply chain shortages.

The economic challenges haven’t just caused problems for food prices. Last year, Iceland was forced to roll back on what were industry-setting pledges to stop using palm oil and plastic packaging within its own brand products.

The retailer would temporaily revert to using certified sustainable palm oil in some products, due to a shortage of sunflower oil caused by the Ukraine war, Walker said at the time.

Setbacks caused by the pandemic, as well as a lack of viable alternatives were given as the reason behind why the retailer would not be able to remove plastic from its own brand packaging by the end of 2023.