Today Brand Match was officially launched nationwide, following a short trial across Sainsbury’s stores in Northern Ireland. A new TV ad airs tonight, during Emmerdale on ITV1, flagging up the pledge to match Tesco and Asda prices on certain key brands.

That’s a pretty quick turnaround considering Justin King was insisting just last week that there were no plans afoot to extend the pilot.

If King was being economical with the truth on that occasion, he was in more expansive form today. The Sainsbury’s boss described the supermarket’s billion-pound ‘Twenty by Twenty’ sustainability drive as “the most ambitious targets [of their type] in our industry”.

“If we are to meet the sustainability challenges that lie ahead, it is important that companies such as Sainsbury’s invest in the future right now.

“We do not see this plan as a luxury; it is, rather, an essential investment that will ensure we can continue to provide customers with quality food at fair prices, sustainably.”

It aims to “show customers they can have greater quality at lower prices, without compromising on standards or their values”.

Contrast the soaring, have-it-all rhetoric with Philip Clarke’s widely reported warning this week that Tesco may have to compromise on profitability to reconnect with shoppers.

There will be plenty more on who’s winning the price war in this weekend’s edition of The Grocer. And you can have your say on whose message is getting across loudest with a new poll running all next week on