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Asda makes cheap food promise

Written by: Emma Lunn
The supermarket has pledged to make its cheapest food range, Smart Price, more widely available after comments about food price inflation.

Poverty campaigner and food blogger Jack Monroe highlighted in a newspaper article that several supermarkets had removed or reduced their cheapest food ranges, or selling smaller quantities for higher prices.

Looking at Asda in particular, Monroe noted that last year the Smart Price pasta in her local store was 29p for 500g. But now the cheapest bag cost 70p, equating to a 141% price rise for the same product.

In response to Monroe’s observations, Asda has committed to making its cheapest food ranges more widely available. Asda currently stocks 150 Smart Price and Farm Stores products in 300 stores. But it has now promised to stock its full Smart Price and Farm Stores ranges in all its 581 food stores and online by 1 March, increasing the number of customers who have access to the products.

Meg Farren, Asda’s chief customer officer, said: “We want to help our customers’ budgets stretch further and have taken on board the comments about the availability of our Smart Price range made by Jack Monroe.

“We are taking steps to put our full Smart Price and Farm Stores ranges in store and online to make these products as accessible as possible.”

In response to Asda’s move, Monroe tweeted: “Well, that went rather well.”

Monroe shot to fame sharing cheap recipes she created as a single parent, and has used her platform to raise awareness of poverty and hunger.

She is calling for a new measure of inflation to reflect increases in food and energy prices, saying that many of the items used to calculate CPI inflation aren’t relevant to the poorest members of society.

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