Asda chiefs have issued a broadside against the grocer’s main rivals over “gimmick” price promotions.

Asda finance director Rob McWilliam said that customers were being forced to “play basket bingo” to qualify for specific promotional deals from its rival grocers.

McWilliam said: “There have been an enormous number of gimmicks to disguise a weak pricing position.”

He added that competitors’ deals for money off petrol when customers spend £50 on groceries were increasingly specific.

He said: “Where is it going to go next? If you spend enough you will get enough petrol to go to Mars and you can take the kids with you?

“We do not follow this, it’s about giving [customers] enough to live sustainably day in day out.”

Asda has employed an Everyday Low Price (EDLP) strategy to offer low-priced goods year-round combined with price promotions. However, the grocer has not completely distanced itself from low-price deals, offering £5 off £40 vouchers at key times, including prior to the Jubilee.

The grocery market has been dominated by vouchers this year and IGD data released today revealed that 58% of customers are buying more promotions this year.

Asda chief executive Andy Clarke said: “We are on a very clear plan to focus on EDLP. We do have promotional content but proportionally EDLP is the most important measure. Anybody can buy sales.”

Asda today revealed a 0.7% increase in second quarter like-for-like sales while first-half sales rose 1.5%.

Clarke waded into the debate that erupted this week on a permanent relaxation of Sunday trading laws. He said: “The focus is always on the customer and customers have said that they have been benefitting from the flexibility of shopping outside the normal six-hour period. If giving greater flexibility to shopping hours pleases customers I would support that.”