Marks & Spencer has slashed the prices of almost 500 food lines as it bids to win back shoppers over the Easter weekend.

The high street stalwart has lowered prices of some of its most popular seasonal items, including Easter eggs, legs of lamb, salmon fillets and wine.

The price cuts mean the cost of an Easter lunch for eight people from M&S is now £3.03 lower than it was a year before, at £34.18. According to Good Housekeeping magazine, that makes it cheaper than both Sainsbury’s and Waitrose.

M&S head of food Stuart Machin said the cuts were part of the retailer’s drive to deliver “prices to shout about”.

He added: “We’re in the early stages of our transformation plan to broaden the appeal of our food to family-age customers and make M&S more relevant, more often.

“You can see this shift in our marketing campaign. M&S is no longer positioning itself as special and different, but special and relevant with prices to shout about.”

The price cuts form part of M&S’ bid to breathe fresh life into its food business, which has reported sluggish sales in recent years in the face of fierce competition.

The big four supermarkets, and discounters Aldi and Lidl, have all invested in improving product quality to narrow the gap on the likes of M&S and Waitrose at the premium end of the grocery market.

Machin, alongside M&S boss Steve Rowe and chair Archie Norman, are overhauling its food business in response.

Earlier this year, M&S launched a £1.5bn joint venture with Ocado, which will give M&S Food a presence online for the first time.

The retailer also plans to open more M&S Foodhalls to make its grocery proposition more accessible and attract more families.

M&S recently revived its famous ‘This is not just food…’ campaign and struck a sponsorship deal with Britain’s Got Talent in a bid to further broaden its reach.