Food prices: ‘Bread, coffee and fresh fruit have become a bit of a luxury’ [Guardian]

Reduced price labels on food items in supermarket

Cash-strapped consumers are changing the way they shop to take advantage of cheap food deals. Photograph: David Cole/Alamy

It was the £1.99 Tesco chicken that, four years ago, came to symbolise cheap supermarket food and helped to galvanise consumers into questioning the provenance and economics of the staple items in their shopping basket.

In its new branch in Saxmundham – the Suffolk market town that even longer ago famously fought off plans for an out-of-town Tesco superstore – the £4 fresh chickens in the chiller cabinet are being ignored by the late afternoon shoppers who are favouring items covered in “reduced” stickers.

Among them is mother-of-two Jackie Long, who has popped in on her way home from work and picked up a 2.5kg bag of Maris Piper potatoes which has been further discounted to 95p. “They’ll last another week, mashed, chipped and in stews,” she says. “I do my main weekly shop at the Co-op but this is on my way home and around teatime they tend to slash the prices. I have really noticed prices going up in the last six months, particularly of things like bread, coffee and fresh fruit. They’ve all become a bit of a luxury.”


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