The Co-op is to cut prices by £50m in the latest salvo in the grocery value wars.

The Co-op has made the price investment in a range of everyday items.

Some products will now be 40% cheaper while, on average, more than 600 items will cost 14% less.

The grocer said the reductions are designed to help shoppers feeling the pinch after Christmas, and are timed for the final week of January – a time when household budgets are typically at their most stretched.

Fruit and vegetable prices and bread, fresh meat and ready meal prices have also been lowered, along with some household brands.

Co-op retail chief executive Jo Whitfield said: “Big discounts across fresh food makes it easier for customers to shop healthier as well as fill their cupboards and these price cuts are part of our strategy to make Co-op the UK’s number one convenience retailer.”

The price cuts came amid ferocious competition among grocers.

Earlier this week Tesco and Sainsbury’s revealed store management restructuring plans in a bid to reduce costs and become more efficient to fend off the rise of discounters Aldi and Lidl.