Ocado’s co-founder Tim Steiner has claimed grocery prices more affordable than they were a year or even two years ago.
Speaking at ecommerce event Shoptalk Europe, Steiner said: “It’s a very challenging environment. However, grocery prices are up less than wage inflation at the moment meaning, on average, people’s groceries are more affordable than they were a year or two years ago.”
“That’s not costing 5% more,” he said, adding that the recent price rises are “costing customers around 300% more”.
Steiner said the issues Ocado has faced as a business include increasing electricity costs, a “dramatic” rise in gas prices and suppliers are “trying to push through larger price increases”.
He added: “We’re more a price follower than a price leader in the UK market. Pricing in the industry, generally, we always make sure that we’re price competitive.”
This comes as consumer group Which? reveals that customers have seen the price of hundreds of popular grocery items increase by over 20% over the past two years.
Most recently, supermarket rival Sainsbury’s has come under fire for declaring a huge increase in dividends – a large chunk of which will go to foreign shareholders – while staff and shoppers struggle with the cost of living crisis.
The dividend is 24% higher than in 2021 and the largest since 2015. Profits doubled last year to £730 million but are expected to drop back this year.