Irish supermarkets reduce cost of own-brand milk

Lidl and Aldi are to reduce the cost of their own brand milk in Ireland by 10 cent from Saturday, marking the second such cut this year, as Supervalu confirmed it would implement a similar cut from Monday.

It comes after Tesco announced price cuts across more than 500 household essentials in the UK, during a week where retailers were questioned before a Westminster committee about what they had done to help customers during the cost-of-living crisis.

Last month, Minister for Finance Michael McGrath said that a move by Tesco Ireland to reduce prices on 700 items by an average of 10 per cent “could be a significant turning point”.

The Government has been put under pressure by opposition parties to take action on ensuring high grocery costs are not fuelling supermarkets’ profits, after major retailers announced reductions in the cost of milk, butter and bread in May.

At a meeting of the Retail Forum, Minister of State Neale Richmond said retailers had committed to reducing costs of products where their input costs had reduced.

Though Taoiseach Leo Varadkar had suggested there was some evidence of profiteering by some companies amid the inflation crisis, a recently published analysis indicated that this did not apply to groceries.

The Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC) said in its analysis it had seen no indication to suggest “excessive pricing”.

It did state that changes in input prices do not appear to be immediately reflected in retail prices, and that recent falls in input costs may take time to be passed onto consumers, as has been stated by retailers.

Lidl – emphasising that it was the first retailer to announce the latest price drop for a two-litre carton of milk, from €2.19 to €2.09 – said the cut would be worth €3 million in savings to shoppers in Ireland.

Niall O’Connor, group managing director of Aldi Ireland, said it reviews the market “on a daily basis” to ensure it will “never be beaten on price”.

Supervalu said in a statement to PA that the retail price of SuperValu’s two litre own brand fresh and low-fat milk will also be reduced by 10 cent from €2.19, from Monday.

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