Swiss food giant Nestlé has expressed concern that UK supermarkets may become obsessed with low prices to the detriment of shoppers and suppliers.

According to a report in the Financial Times, Nestlé would not name its preferred bidder for UK takeover target Safeway, but said it did not want supermarket consolidation in the UK to lead to a culture of low prices, low innovation and miserable shoppers.

"The only concern I have is that the UK market becomes so preoccupied with price - and loses touch with the value equation to the consumer - that we end up like Germany. If that happens it's a shame for everybody," the paper quoted Alastair Sykes, chairman and chief executive of Nestlé's UK arm, as saying.

Sykes said that in Germany retailers were so focused on low prices that the overall shopping experience was cheapened. Peter Brabeck, chief executive of Nestlé, agreed with Sykes, adding that it was extremely difficult for suppliers to grow in Germany.