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Supermarkets slash baby formula milk prices


UK supermarkets are cutting the price of baby formula, easing budgets with significant savings on brands like Aptamil.

cartoon of baby milk bottle

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In a long-awaited shift, UK supermarkets are finally acting to the financial pressures on families by announcing reductions in baby formula prices.

Asda and Tesco have joined with Iceland and Sainsbury’s to introduce price cuts on Aptamil products, which is a big relief for parents and carers.

Iceland

Aptamil price changes trolley.co.uk
Credit: Trolley.co.uk

Current regulations stop discounts on infant formula to encourage breastfeeding.

Still, Iceland already announced a price reduction back in August 2023 on infant formula products and has allowed customers to use Iceland loyalty points as payment, even though it was illegal to do so, and they risk an unlimited fine.

Iceland has been vocal about revising these laws. In a statement from 2023, Richard Walker, executive chairman at Iceland, said:

Now, technically we are allowed to cut the price of infant formula. What the law prohibits us from doing is telling anyone that we have done so. Which makes it pretty hard for us to get the message out to desperate parents that Iceland can now offer big savings on the products they need.

The law also prohibits retailers from allowing formula to be purchased with loyalty points or store gift cards, and from reducing the price of formula to clear stock that is nearing the end of its shelf life. Bizarrely, it has even been interpreted as prohibiting supermarkets from offering free parking to customers who are shopping only for formula. Which seems perverse when there are no similar restrictions applied to the sale of ‘unhealthy’ lines such as alcohol, vapes, fizzy drinks, confectionery or crisps.

Using loyalty reward vouchers at Asda

To ease the strain on household budgets, Asda will allow the use of reward vouchers on baby milk purchases starting this Monday, 15 January 2024.

Any points you have collected with Asda Reward vouchers can be converted in your cashpot and used to purchase ANY baby formula products. This goes against current regulations around offering promos on formula products, but they are going to do it anyway.

On top of this, they have also committed to an average of 7% price reduction on six Aptamil lines.

Tesco and Sainsbury’s

Tesco has mirrored these efforts and is slashing prices on five Aptamil formulas by up to £1.

Sainsbury’s is reducing prices by 7% on some of the branded formula range.

They are passing on the savings after Danone, the manufacturer, cut the price it charges retailers for the majority of its baby milk range products by 7%.

First price reduction in two years

The price adjustments have come in after a Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) report, which found a 25% price increase in baby formula over two years.

The report pointed to a lack of competition and the high loyalty consumers have to specific brands, which is influenced by personal recommendations and their infants’ preferences.

Naomi Willis
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