Supermarkets promise to cut grocery bills in new price war
CONSUMERS are the ones who will benefit as retailers bring in price cuts in the battle to attract hard-pressed families.
Tesco yesterday hit back in a fledgling 'price war' when it announced that the price of 1,000 items on its shelves -- including tea, vegetables and toiletries -- would be cut by an average of 12pc.
It moved just days after the SuperValu chain unveiled a series of 'meal deals', promotions and price cuts on its own-brand range, which it said could save families an average of €35 a week on household shopping.
Ann Fitzgerald, the chief executive of the National Consumer Agency (NCA), said it welcomed any measures that introduced "better competition in the grocery sector for consumers, particularly in the times we are living in".
Kenny Jacobs, marketing director of Tesco Ireland, said the cuts on common household items would "drive value" for shoppers.
"We are determined to offer the very best value for consumers and we will not be beaten on price," Mr Jacobs claimed.
SuperValu pointed out its meal deals and cuts on own-brand items were designed to ensure households could put a dinner on the table every day for an affordable price.
The chain said sales of its own brands were up 8.6pc since the beginning of the year while the take-up of meal-deal promotional offers had increased by 25pc.
"People are being really wise and canny, and shopping around for offers that matter to them," said SuperValu spokeswoman Sue Lamon-Diver.
She said the chain's research had shown that more people were now looking for basic ingredients so they could cook their own meals from scratch.
Dunnes Stores, meanwhile, has a half-price toiletries offer, which includes brands such as Nivea, Olay and Timotei, while Superquinn pointed out it has "hundreds of products on promotion and special offer" each week.
Both Lidl and Aldi have slashed the prices of certain fruit and vegetables.
Supermarket groups are under increasing pressure to entice shoppers to spend as the latest research from the NCA shows seven out of 10 consumers almost always shop around for the best price.
More than half of shoppers now cite price as the major factor in choosing where to shop.
More than a third of grocery items purchased by price-conscious shoppers are now own-brand goods.