Asda praised for increasing Smart Price product availability


Poverty campaigner Jack Monroe has praised Big 4 grocer Asda on its pledge to roll out its lowest-priced value range to more stores.

In a series of tweets, Monroe said she had the “happiest shopping experience in over a decade” as a result of rediscovering products from the grocer’s Smart Price and Farm Stores ranges at her local store.

The move follows several tweets by Monroe detailing how poor availability of value lines of some supermarket products had resulted in customers being forced to purchase items up to triple the price, which resulted in the Office of National Statistics (ONS) pledging to revise the way they calculate inflation.

As a result of Monroe’s plea, Asda said it would stock its Smart Price and Farm Stores ranges in all 581 food stores and online by March 1 to help its customers with the cost-of-living crisis.

The Big 4 grocer said all of its branches will have the full range of 200 Smart Price and Farm Stores line, with the full range is already being available online.

READ MORE: GG Investigates: What’s going on with food inflation?

Monroe shared photos of products at Asda in Shoeburyness, Essex, that have reverted to their price from a year ago.

In one tweet, she said she found a kilogramme bag of rice that was back to its old price of 45p, after jumping last month to £1 for 500g – a price increase of 344%.

She wrote: “I was very quick to vilify Asda for what I saw as a change of direction for their company, and a watering down of their commitment to an entire group of their customers.”

Asda promised to “do better”, she said, as she praised the “remarkable” speed of the turnaround.

“The impact that this will have on millions of people, is impossible to overstate,” she said, adding that she “cried, quietly, to myself, in Asda” at the development.

She also wrote: “So I guess I just wanted to say thanks to everyone at Asda who has worked really hard over the last few weeks to bring the missing SmartPrice products back.”

Asda’s chief customer officer Meg Farren said: “We want to help our customers’ budgets stretch further and have taken on board the comments about the availability of our Smart Price range made by Jack Monroe.

“We are taking steps to put our full Smart Price and Farm Stores ranges in store and online to make these products as accessible as possible.”

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