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September 16, 2008

UK: Food inflation has “peaked”, says Asda boss

Food inflation in the UK has “peaked”, according to the boss of Asda.

Food inflation in the UK has “peaked”, according to the boss of Asda.

Andy Bond, the CEO of the country’s second-largest retailer, was speaking as the company announced plans to make over 5,000 price cuts in its stores.

The move will see Asda lower the price of every product in its Smart Price value range of products, as well as cutting prices on other own-label and branded goods.

“I’m confident that food price inflation has peaked and that we are beginning to see the cost of goods stabilise,” Bond said. “When I talk to customers they tell me that they’re really worried about how to make ends meet and they look to supermarkets to help them.

“That’s why I’m determined that as and when cost prices fall it will be Asda which leads the charge and drives down prices for shoppers not just in the short-term but permanently.”

Bond’s comments also came as industry analysts TNS said food prices had risen by 9% year-on-year during the 12 weeks to 9 September. TNS predicted that the figure would fall towards the end of the year “as some of the sharpest price rises drop out of the annual comparisons”.

During the 12 weeks to 9 September, Asda, the UK unit of Wal-Mart, saw its sales rise 9.1%.

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