Sainsbury's, Britain's second largest supermarket group, said a focus this year will be expansion of its cheapest own-label lines as cash-strapped shoppers grapple with a cost-of-living crisis that shows little sign of abating.
Britons are increasingly turning to supermarkets' own-label products, which are usually cheaper than branded products, to help manage spending.
Own-Label Sales Increase
In the four weeks to 16 April own-label sales in the UK were up 13.5% year-on-year with the very cheapest value own-label lines up 46%, according to market researcher Kantar.
Branded sales were up 4.4% over the same period.
"You'll see us do more work on entry price points over the coming weeks and months, it's an area we're really focused on," Simon Roberts, CEO, Sainsbury's told reporters after the group reported 2022-23 results.
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As well as buying more own-brand products to save cash, customers were purchasing more frozen items, shopping more often and choosing to eat out less.
"Customers are saving wherever they can...But also they are trading up and celebrating at home more often too," said Roberts, highlighting a record number of customers over the Easter trading period.
He said the group's Argos general merchandise business had seen strong sales in consumer electronics but weakness in home furniture.
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Roberts, said that the availability of salad products in its stores had "pretty much" recovered although there were still some issues with peppers.
British shoppers faced a shortage of tomatoes, cucumbers and peppers earlier this year after disrupted harvests in north Africa reduced supply, while inflation forced industry buyers to spend more on less from key markets such as Spain.
News by Reuters, edited by Donna Ahern, Checkout. For more retail news, click here. Click subscribe to sign up for the Checkout print edition.