Aldi UK launches new round of price cuts

LONDON (Reuters) – The British arm of German discount supermarket Aldi has reduced the prices of over 30 household grocery staples, it said on Thursday, adding to a body of evidence that a surge in UK food inflation is on the wane.

Aldi UK, Britain’s fourth largest supermarket chain after Tesco, Sainsbury’s and Asda, said fresh produce including apples, oranges and peaches as well as butter, canned food, personal hygiene products and pet treats were included in the latest round of reductions, which has seen items fall by an average of about 7%.

It said it had now cut the prices of over 130 products over the past two months.

Grocery prices are in the spotlight as Britons grapple with a cost-of-living crisis stretching into its second year.

UK food price inflation reached its highest since 1977 in March at more than 19%. This official measure had slowed to 17.3% in June and, while industry data showed it at 14.9% in July, rising food prices remain a major strain on the finances of many households.

Its recent downward trajectory is being closely watched by consumers, the Bank of England and lawmakers.

While all British supermarkets have cut the prices of some staple products in recent months, researcher the Institute of Grocery Distribution has cautioned that food price inflation will still be around 9% in December, while the BoE has forecast it will fall to around 10% this year.

Retailers have cautioned that further supply chain issues could add to input costs in the months ahead.

Potential issues include poor UK harvests, Russia’s withdrawal from the Black Sea Grain Initiative and subsequent targeting of Ukrainian grain facilities, as well as rice export restrictions from India.

(Reporting by James Davey, Editing by Paul Sandle)