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Big supermarkets shrink their price tags on milk

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Just a day after Sainsbury’s joined Tesco in lowering in-store and online prices on milk, Lidl and Aldi have joined the retailers who followed suit.

The cuts were attributed to a seasonal oversupply alongside changes in consumer buying habits and reductions in dairy farmers’ production costs.

Anyone who buys dairy milk will have noticed the recent surge. The Office for National Statistics said the price of low-fat milk was 42% higher than it was a year ago thanks in large part to increased costs for dairy farmers for fertiliser and feed.

Still, wholesale prices had started to creep lower before the latest retail cuts, the ONS reported.

Aldi and Lidl said today that a pint of their milk would drop from 95p to 90, matching the prices at Tesco and Sainsbury’s. Other grocers, such as M&S, also had pints of milk for 90p on their shelves.

Happier cows

One reason for the price cuts is that wholesalers had also cut their prices because of an oversupply resulting from the “spring flush”, a period when cows produce more milk after being let back out to graze among the grassy fields.

Another reason is the slowing demand for more-expensive dairy products coupled with rising demand for oat- and nut-based alternatives.

A spokesperson for Arla, the UK’s biggest dairy processor, told The Guardian: “The cost-of-living squeeze means consumers are putting less in their baskets so demand is changing. At the same time, milk supply is growing, creating a change in the supply and demand of milk which is having a negative impact on the global value of milk.”