Sainsbury’s has fast tracked its programme to axe food multi-buy promotions in response to positive customer feedback.

The retailer has been gradually removing multi-buys from its stores over the past two years but sped up the project in recent months due to customer appetite for simpler, clearer prices, it said.

It stopped running the promotions in June, two months ahead of schedule. Sainsbury’s decided to replace multi-buys with lower, regular prices in response to changing shopping habits. Customers now shop more frequently, often buying fewer items.

Careful management of household budgets, a growing awareness of the cost of food waste and more health-conscious living have also driven a trend away from multiple product purchasing towards more single item purchasing, the grocer said.

Sainsbury’s food commercial director Paul Mills-Hicks said: “We’ve worked hard to phase out multi-buys as quickly as we could because our customers tell us they value choice and a simpler shopping experience.

“Our pricing strategy is all about ensuring we are well placed to give our customers what they want, when they want it. Multi-buys are out of step with changing shopping habits and we call on other retailers to follow our lead to remove multi-buys, making shopping easier for customers and food waste easier to manage.”

Mills-Hicks said shoppers were experimenting with new products and pack sizes since the removal of multi-buy promotions. “It’s clear that shoppers are enjoying the freedom to make decisions about what they buy based on what they need, rather than what’s on offer. Customers are also telling us that ultimately they’re saving money because they’re wasting less and only buying what they need,” he said.