II can’t help feeling the latest series of Channel 4’s Great British Food Fight, while entertaining on one level, is slightly past its sell-by date. Hugh may have changed his tune a bit on Freedom Food, but still wants us to pay a pound more for our chicken. Jamie wants to save our costly bacon. And Heston wants Little Chef customers to swap egg and chips for Earl Grey foam on a bed of quail egg couscous.

As retailers and suppliers, we can’t afford the luxury of being so out of step with the mood of the nation. Our customers dictate what we sell and how we sell it.

We didn’t tell them frozen food was a good idea at the start of the credit crunch. They told us and we all played catch-up. And when I’m in stores talking to customers each week they tell me their priorities have changed. They still want healthy, safe and nutritious food, sourced in an ethical and fair way – ideally from UK producers – but they don’t want to pay more for it. And, crucially, they can’t afford to.

Asda’s income tracker shows the average family is £4 a week worse off compared with a year ago. It probably doesn’t sound much to a millionaire, but it’s the difference between putting a few extra products in your basket or leaving them out.

And it sticks in my throat a little when celebrity chefs make sweeping assumptions, and preach to TV viewers about how they should spend their hard-earned money. Was I the only one who thought Hugh was patronising to the single mum who he wanted to pay more for higher-welfare chicken?

I’d like to see the reception Hugh got if he joined me on an accompanied shop or customer listening group – not on camera so it turns into a pantomime – so he can get closer to the challenges real people face on a daily basis.

Without a dose of reality, the celebrity chefs risk losing touch, and disappearing into obscurity. Which will hurt them much more than the thought of chickens crammed in a shed.

Andy Bond is chief executive of Asda.