co-op local ranges trolley

More than 600 Co-op lines including own label fruit, vegetables and bread are now 14% cheaper in its stores

The Co-op is investing £50m in a price offensive to make it more competitive with rivals.

The retailer announced today it was cutting the cost of everyday food items, saying the big discounts were needed for it to keep attracting shoppers as part of its continuing turnaround strategy.

Some products have been slashed by more than 40% in the move but on average, the 600 lines involved are now 14% cheaper.

Own label fruit, vegetables, bread, fresh meat and ready meals form the bulk of the cuts but brands such as Warburtons and McCain are also included. The Co-op estimated it would save shoppers about £120 a year.

More than 50 fruit, vegetable and salad items have been reduced, including Fairtrade bananas, down 16p to 79p, a whole cucumber (from 55p to 45p), and baby plum tomatoes (77p to 22p).

Other examples include own label cheese & tomato pizza, down almost a third to 55p and 29 ready meals reduced by more than a fifth.

“Many shoppers feel the pinch after Christmas and we are committed to offering our customers value for money and cutting prices to make household budgets go further,” said Co-op Food chief executive Jo Whitfield.

“We are the most visited food retailer on the high street but competition is tight and we want to keep attracting shoppers through the door. Big discounts across fresh food make it easier for customers to shop healthier as well as fill their cupboards and these price cuts are part of our strategy to make Co-op the UK’s number one convenience retailer.”

Whitfield added: “We have the ambition for our stores to be at the heart of local life, bringing communities together and offering our members and customers great quality products when and where they need them.”

Earlier this month it announced plans to open 100 new convenience stores and to revamp a further 150.