Major UK supermarkets have hiked prices for over 100 value range products during the last month, exclusive analysis by NationalWorld has found.
NationalWorld has been tracking the price of almost 700 basic range products at Tesco, Asda, Sainsbury’s, Morrisons and Aldi, taking an online price snapshot on 4 April and 2 May, the first Monday of each month.
Price rises of up to 33% were recorded for 102 items during that time, including on many food staples such as tinned vegetables, jam, pasta, coffee, fresh meat and cheese.
Some of the products’ prices were being increased again, having already seen price hikes earlier in the year.
There were three times as many price rises compared to price decreases (34 items).
Here we reveal the list of price rises in every supermarket chain.
What brands are included?
While Asda and Morrisons are home to a single budget product line (Asda Smart Price and Morrisons Savers) Tesco and Sainsbury’s both ditched their value lines in recent years, replacing them with a range of in-house brands in an effort to keep up with German rivals Aldi and Lidl.
At Tesco these include Ms Molly’s (confectionery and treats), Stockwell and Co (food cupboard essentials) and Creamfields (dairy products).
Sainsbury’s meanwhile boasts Hubbard Foodstores (stock cupboard essentials), J. James and Family (fresh and frozen meat and fish) and Stamford Street (chilled products such as ready meals), among others.
Aldi carries an Everyday Essentials value range. However, many products that are not part of this specific value range have a price point similar to budget items at other supermarkets.
Asda announced earlier this month that it was scrapping the Smart Price line and replacing it with one called Just Essentials, though this has not yet hit shelves.
Asda put up the prices of 37 out of 158 (23%) Smart Price or Farm Stores products between 4 April and 2 May – the most price hikes of any supermarket in our tracker by proportion of products.
Farm stores is Asda’s budget range of fruit, vegetables and fresh meat.
We also found 18 products with price reductions.
The full list of items that saw price rises, ranked by percentage increase is below:
- Smart price mushy peas 300g tin – 18p up to 21p, rise of 16.7%
- Farm stores kiwis pack of six – 67p up to 78p, rise of 16.4%
- Farm stores green beans 240g – 75p up to 87p, rise of 16%
- Smart price rice pudding 400g tin – 20p up to 23p, rise of 15%
- Smart price sliced carrots in water 300g tin – 20p up to 23p, rise of 15%
- Smart price sausage, mash and gravy 400g ready meal – £1.20 up to £1.35, rise of 12.5%
- Smart price tomato soup 400g tin – 24p up to 27p, rise of 12.5%
- Smart price gravy granules 200g – 25p up to 28p, rise of 12%
- Smart price golden vegetable savoury rice 120g – 25p up to 28p, rise of 12%
- Smart price beef lasagne 400g ready meal – £1.2 up to £1.34, rise of 11.7%
- Smart price fine cut orange marmalade 450g – 27p up to 30p, rise of 11.1%
- Smart price chicken curry and rice 400g ready meal – £1.20 up to £1.33, rise of 10.8%
- Smart price strawberry jam 454g – 28p up to 31p, rise of 10.7%
- Smart price past shapes 500g – 29p up to 32p, rise of 10.3%
- Smart price stewed steak 392g tin – £1.59 up to £1.75, rise of 10.1%
- Smart price ready to serve custard 385g – 30p up to 33p, rise of 10%
- Smart price peach slices in light syrup 411g tin – 31p up to 34p, rise of 9.7%
- Smart price new potatoes in water 550g tin – 33p up to 36p, rise of 9.1%
- Smart price chicken roll 400g – £1.10 up to £1.20, rise of 9.1%
- Smart price cottage pie 400g ready meal – £1.20 up to £1.30, rise of 8.3%
- Smart price fish pie 400g ready meal – £1.20 up to £1.30, rise of 8.3%
- Smart price baked beans and sausages in tomato sauce 405g tin – 39p up to 42p, rise of 7.7%
- Smart price lard 250g – 39p up to 42p, rise of 7.7%
- Smart price mayonnaise 500g – 41p up to 44p, rise of 7.3%
- Smart price long-life skimmed milk 1L – 55p up to 59p, rise of 7.3%
- Farm stores mixed peppers pack of 3 – 92p up to 98p, rise of 6.5%
- Smart price cooked ham slices 400g – £1.59 up to £1.69, rise of 6.3%
- Smart price wafer thin cooked ham slices 400g – £1.59 up to £1.69, rise of 6.3%
- Farm stores plums 400g – 59p up to 62p, rise of 5.1%
- Smart price clear honey 340g – 69p up to 72p, rise of 4.3%
- Farm stores cherry tomaties 250g – 48p up to 50p, rise of 4.2%
- Smart price wheat bisks 24x18g – 74p up to 77p, rise of 4.1%
- Smart price pork luncheon meat slices 250g – 79p up to 82p, rise of 3.8%
- Farm stores 8 pork sausages 454g – 83p up to 86p, rise of 3.6%
- Smart price frozen chips 1.5kg – 90p up to 93p, rise of 3.3%
- Farm stores seedless grapes 500g – £1.06 up to £1.09, rise of 2.8%
- Smart price refuse sacks 75 litres – £1.07 up to £1.10, rise of 2.8%
A spokesperson for Asda said: “’We know how much the cost of living is worrying our customers right now and we’re doing everything we can to keep prices as low as possible on their shopping.
“We continue to be the best value of the traditional supermarkets as shown by independent research carried out by the Grocer and Which? magazines.”
Sainsbury’s raised the price of 20 out of 137 value range products being tracked between 4 April and 2 May – 15% of items.
Particular targets for price rises were fresh ready meals and cooked ham slices, but there were also hikes for eggs, tinned soup, cheese and custard.
We also found two price decreases.
The items that saw price hikes ranked by percentage increase is:
- Stamford Street lasagne ready meal 300g – £1 up to £1.25, rise of 25%
- Stamford Street cottage pie 300g ready meal – £1 up to £1.25, rise of 25%
- Stamford Street fish pie 300g ready meal – £1 up to £1.25, rise of 25%
- Stamford Street macaroni cheese 300g ready meal – £1 up to £1.25, rise of 25%
- Lovett’s madeira sponge cake 895g – £3.49 up to £3.99, rise of 14.3%
- Hubbard’s foodstore mixed fruit 500g, £1.10 up to £1.25, rise of 13.6%
- Hubbard’s foodstore chicken soup tin 400g – 40p up to 45p, rise of 12.5% (was previously 31p, as of 20 January)
- Hubbard’s foodstore vegetable soup tin 400g – 40p up to 45p, rise of 12.5% (was previously 35p, as of 20 January)
- J. James and family frozen cooked and peeled coldwater prawns 250g – £2.50 up to £2.75, rise of 10%
- J. James and family British cooked chicken slices 12 pieces 300g – £1.45 up to £1.59, rise of 9.7%
- Hubbard’s foodstore custard 385g tin – 32p up to 35p, rise of 9.4%
- J. James and family British breaded cooked ham slices x 12, 300g – £1.49 up to £1.59, rise of 6.7%
- J. James and family cooked ham slices x 12 300g – £1.49 up to £1.59, rise of 6.7% (previously £1.39, as of 20 January)
- J. James and family British breaded cooked ham slices x 5, 120g – 60p up to 64p, rise of 6.7%
- J. James and family British cooked ham slices x 5 120g – 60p p to 64p, rise of 6.7% (was previously 56p, as of 20 January)
- Lovett’s apple pie dessert 550g – £1.50 up to £1.60, rise of 6.7%
- Just Snax Tortilla Chips basic 200g – 45p up to 48p, rise of 6.7%
- J. James and family British cooked ham slices 400g – £1.99 up to £2.12, rise of 6.5% (was previously £1.85, as of 20 January)
- J. James free range eggs mixed weight x 10, £1.19 up to £1.26, rise of 5.9%
- Mary Ann’s dairy red leicester cheese 600g – £2.69 up to £2.84, rise of 5.6%
A Sainsbury’s spokesperson said comparing a limited number of items over a month would not give a true reflection of the value it offers customers.
“The cost of individual products is determined by a number of factors and prices can fluctuate, both up and down, as a consequence,” they continued.
“We remain relentlessly focused on keeping prices low on the products that our customers buy most often such as meat, fish, poultry, dairy and fresh produce and are committed to doing everything we can to help our customers, colleagues and communities at this challenging time.
“We are investing ahead of competitors, inflating behind the market on the fastest selling 100 lines and our popular Sainsbury’s Quality, Aldi Price Match and Price Lock promise give customers reassurance they don’t need to go anywhere else to get the best deals.”
There were 216 budget range items being tracked at Tesco, of which 42 (19%) saw price increase. There were no price decreases.
The price rises ranked by percentage increase is below:
- Eastman’s chicken and bacon paste 400g – 99p up to £1.29, rise of 30.3%
- Grower’s harvest pure apple juice 2 litre – £1.09 up to £1.35, rise of 23.9%
- Grower’s harvest orange juice smooth 2 litre – £1.09 up to £1.35, rise of 23.9%
- Hearty food co frozen potato croquettes 700g – 61p up to 73p, rise of 19.7%
- Ms Molly’s chocolate cake – £3.49 up to £3.99, rise of 14.3%
- Ms Molly’s madeira cake – £3.49 up to £3.99, rise of 14.3%
- Stockwell and co soft spread 500g – 75p up to 85p, rise of 13.3%
- Creamfields greek style natural yoghurt 500g – 49p up to 55p, rise of 12.2%
- Eastman’s coleslaw 500g – 66p up to 74p, rise of 12.1%
- Suntrail farms kiwi 6 pack – 67p up to 75p, rise of 11.9%
- Creamfields French brie 200g – 85p up to 95p, rise of 11.8%
- Ms Molly’s 8 chewy caramel wafer biscuits 224g – 85p up to 95p, rise of 11.8%
- Redmere farms green beans 220g – 69p up to 77p, rise of 11.6%
- Eastman’s minced beef and onion pasty 150g – 37p up to 41p, rise of 10.8%
- Stockwell and co instant coffee 100g – 75p up to 83p, rise of 10.7%
- Hearty food co chicken tikka masala and pilau rice 450g ready meal – £1.99 up to £2.19, rise of 10.1%
- Hearty food co cottage pie 450g ready meal – £1.99 up to £2.19, rise of 10.1%
- Stockwell and co plain flour 1.5kg – 45p up to 49p, rise of 8.9%
- Stockwell and co self raising flour 1.5kg – 45p up to 49p, rise of 8.9%
- Hearty food co chicken curry with rice 400g frozen ready meal – 69p up to 75p, rise of 8.7%
- Hearty food co sweet and sour chicken 400g frozen ready meal – 69p up to 75p, rise of 8.7%
- Hearty food co spaghetti bolognese 400g frozen ready meal – 69p up to 75p, rise of 8.7%
- Willow farm chicken drumsticks 900g-1.2kg – £1.73 up to £1.88, rise of 8.7%
- Hearty food co two garlic chicken kievs 260g – £1.65 up to £1.79, rise of 8.5%
- Willow farm chicken thighs 99g-1.2kg – £1.94 up to £2.09, rise of 7.7%
- Hearty food co spinach and ricotta tortelloni 250g – £1.04 up to £1.12, up to 7.7%
- H. W. Nevills 8 plain tortilla wraps – 79p up to 85p, rise of 7.6%
- Nightingale farms celery – 43p up to 46p, rise of 7%
- Nightingale farms peppers 375g – 89p up to 95p – 6.7%
- Eastman’s cooked ham 30 slices 400g – £1.59 up to £1.69, rise of 6.3%
- Eastman’s wafer thin cooked ham 400g – £1.59 up to £1.69, rise of 6.3%
- Stockwell and co chicken curry 392g tin – £1.19 up to £1.26, rise of 5.9%
- Creamfields lighter mature cheese 400g – £1.79 up to £1.89, rise of 5.6%
- Creamfields mature white cheddar 400g – £1.79 up to £1.89, rise of 5.6%
- Creamfields medium white cheddar 400g – £1.79 p to £1.89, rise of 5.6%
- Creamfields mild white cheddar 400g – £1.79 up to £1.89, rise of 5.6%
- Creamfields red leicester 400g – £1.79 up to £1.89, rise of 5.6%
- Redmere farms red onion 1kg – 67p up to 70p, rise of 4.5%
- Willow farm chicken breast portions 990g-1.2kg – £5.45 up to £5.66, rise of 3.9%
- Woodside farms eight pork sausages 454g – 80p up to 83p, rise of 3.7%
- Redmere farms courgettes 350g – 81p up to 83p, rise of 2.5%
- Stockwell and co tomato ketchup 540g – 51p up to 52p, rise of 2%
A Tesco spokesperson said: “We know that now, more than ever, customers want great value when they do their food shop.
“That’s why we are committed to providing great value for our customers, whether it’s promising Low Everyday Prices on 1,600 staples, price matching 650 basics to Aldi prices, or offering exclusive deals and rewards through Clubcard Prices.
“In the past week alone we have added an additional 100 products to our Low Everyday Prices.”
Morrisons has recently expanded its online savers range offering, but at the start of April just 46 products were available. Of these, 43 were included in our price tracker – the other three items were either unavailable or had been discontinued by 2 May.
We found only one price increase during this time, with 12 price cuts.
The item that increased was:
- Savers long life skimmed milk 1 litre – 50p up to 55p, rise of 10%
A Morrisons spokesperson said the store now had 235 “entry level products”, but did not confirm how many of these were available to purchase online.
There were 90 ‘everyday essentials’ products included in our price tracker, of which two saw price increases.
Aldi has many more products that are not part of its main value range but which have similar price points to other chains’ budget items.
The value range products with price increases were:
- Everyday essentials cheese and tomato pizza 114g – 49p up to 55p, rise of 12.2%
- Everyday essentials lightly salted tortilla chips 200g – 45p up to 48p, rise of 6.7%
An Aldi spokesperson said: “We are the lowest priced supermarket in Britain and our customers always pay less for their shop with Aldi, which is why we were named 2021 Cheapest Supermarket of the Year by consumer champion Which?.
“Value is the number one consideration for most households as they wrestle with rising costs and our promise to our customers is that we will always provide the lowest grocery prices.”
This article originally stated the price snapshots were taken on 2 April and 4 May. This has been corrected to read 4 April and 2 May.