The Co-operative is to invest £125m in reducing the prices of fresh fruit and vegetables across its 2800 stores.
The convenience retailer is in an increasingly tense price war with the discounters Aldi and Lidl, as well as the ‘big four’ grocers and in an effort to stay afloat, will soon offer shoppers fruit and veg at cheap and cheerful prices.
Fresh produce prices could be halved and a new promotion, “Fresh Three” means customers will be able to buy a collection of fruit and vegetables for just 39p.
The Co-op is Britain’s fifth biggest food retailer but it’s slowly losing market share as it closes underachieving stores while Tesco and Sainsbury’s open additional convenience stores.
In January, Asda, Sainsbury’s and Tesco kicked off a round of price cuts. Britain’s second largest grocer Asda pledged to spend £300m on lowering prices across “essential” items in Q1 and Sainsbury’s, the UK’s third largest grocer, committed £150m to cutting the cost of 1000 products this year.
Under the pressure, Tesco followed suit and made reductions on major brands including Hovis, Coca-Cola, Marmite and Tetley.
Under the leadership of recently recruited CEO David Potts, Morrisons promised to slash the prices of 200 everyday products such as bread, milk and butter last week.
Steve Murrells, Retail Chief Executive at Co-operative, said: “Consumers are shopping differently, buying little, more frequently and, increasingly swapping the weekly shop for purchasing what they need, when they need it.
Food retailing remains highly competitive and we have responded to provide customers with great prices and fresh, quality produce at each of our stores. This makes our price investment the biggest by a convenience retailer, providing consumers across the length and breadth of the UK with lower priced produce and helping them to keep shopping in their neighbourhood.”