• Prices of 200 own-label goods will be slashed, including British meat and poultry lines
  • Move follows price salvos from Morrisons and Aldi since January
  • Co-op reaffirms commitment to sourcing British products

The Co-op is investing a further £75m into slashing the prices of hundreds of its own-label goods as the grocery price war intensifies.

The mutual’s latest wave of investment will cut costs on 200 products, including its British sourced meat and poultry products.

The convenience specialist said its annualised investment in price would top £200m and slash prices on more than 1,000 products, including hundreds of fruit and vegetable lines.

It comes just a month after Morrisons relaunched its Price Crunch campaign, a rolling programme of cuts throughout 2016 that will typically last three months at a time.

The Bradford-based grocer’s first round of cuts lowered prices on 1,072 items, including many fruits and vegetables.

Its discount rival Aldi launched a much-maligned counter attack last month, dropping prices across a number of core categories including fresh fruit and vegetables, fresh meat and other basket staples.

But its marketing was slammed as “misleading” and “a sign of desperation” by analysts after it compared prices of its own label goods to branded products.

Building momentum

The Co-op hopes its price investment will help it build further trading momentum.

According to the latest Kantar grocery market share data, the Co-op was the fastest growing non-discount grocery retailer during the 12 weeks to January 31.

Its total sales increased 1.4% during the period, driven by a 7% uplift in revenues from its own-label proposition.

“Further price reductions will serve to grow our convenience appeal to shoppers”

Steve Murrells, Co-op

The Co-op’s retail chief executive Steve Murrells said: “This is a major investment in British meat and poultry.

“We are building momentum and attracting more shoppers into our stores and our price investment programme is ensuring our convenience offering remains highly competitive while restating our commitment to sourcing British products.

“Industry data shows that our strategy is taking us in the right direction. Further price reductions will serve to grow our convenience appeal to shoppers.”

Sourcing British products

The Co-op has launched a report reaffirming its commitment to source British products.

The mutual is extending its British lamb season in store, widening its British fruit and vegetables proposition and will be unveiling a new young farmers initiative.

The Co-op said it had invested £781m to source own-brand meat, produce and dairy products from the UK, rather than alternatives from abroad.