Supermarket senior executives from Tesco, Asda, Morrisons and Sainsbury’s have been questioned by MPs over eye-watering food inflation as the latest figures add to hopes that price hikes have passed the peak.
Last week the Office for National Statistics published the latest inflation figures showing that food price rises have eased slightly but remain at a stubbornly high 18.4 per cent.
It comes as supermarkets are under increasing pressure to hand down savings they are seeing on wholesale items to consumers, who have faced punishing food price inflation in recent months.
Addressing the Business and Trade Committee, Rhian Bartlett, food commercial director at Sainsbury’s, said: “We are acutely aware about the cost-of-living impact on our colleagues and how difficult they are all finding it right now.
“We’ve spent £560 million on keeping prices low, battling inflation and are doing absolutely everything we can to keep prices as low as possible for customers.
“In the most recent year we made lower profits, at £690 million – input costs are not being fully passed through to our shelf prices.”
Labour MP Andy McDonald asked whether, during a cost of living crisis, they can justify exorbitant CEO pay and dividend payouts.
Judging by this response, the answer is clearly no!