Shoppers pay the cost as Sainsbury’s and Asda hike prices after failed £14bn merger 

Sainsbury’s and Asda hike prices across hundreds of products as shoppers pay the cost of failed £14bn merger

Sainsbury’s and Asda hiked prices across hundreds of products as their £14billion merger was blocked.

The grocers have pushed up the cost of around 500 own-brand goods such as biscuits, cakes, soft drinks, cooking oil, sauces and spreads.

Other items affected include cereal, bacon, sausages, ready-meals and frozen fish, according to The Grocer magazine.

Price hikes: Sainsbury’s and Asda have pushed up the cost of around 500 own-brand goods such as biscuits, cakes, soft drinks, cooking oil, sauces and spreads

Sainsbury’s and Asda suffered a humiliating defeat when their planned tie-up was blocked by the Competition and Markets Authority in April.

A total of £1billion worth of price cuts passed on to customers had been promised as part of the deal.

But the regulator said the merger could not go through, warning that it would lead to higher prices and poorer quality for customers.

Sainsbury’s and Asda are likely to be prevented from pursuing the merger for at least a decade. 

The supermarkets are understood to have been raising prices since January, but customers have noticed more significant increases in recent weeks.

Most of the increases have been made on everyday items at the lower end of the market, such as Asda’s 30 Omega 3 Fish Fingers which cost £3.98, up from £3.50. 

A two-litre bottle of cola from the grocer has increased by 6p to 50p.

Asda also raised prices on some of its upmarket branded goods such as its Extra Special dry cured bacon, up 35p to £2.50 for a 240g pack.

Sainsbury’s has hiked the prices of hundreds of own-brand items with biscuits such as digestives and rich tea up 5p to 55p and 45p respectively. 

It also added 5p to butters and spreads like its 500g olive oil spread at £1.15, and salted organic butter at £1.85.

The price increases sparked anger among customers, who complained that the grocers had introduced higher prices without clearly informing them. 

One said on Twitter: ‘Anyone else noticed the prices in Asda are sneaking up? 6p here, 20p there. It’s on stuff I buy all the time and has made a big difference in price.’

Another shopper complained: ‘A lot of stuff I buy in Sainsbury’s has gone up by at least 10p. Funny how these prices keep sneaking up.’

A Sainsbury’s spokesman said: ‘The cost of individual products is determined by a number of factors and prices can fluctuate, both up and down, as a consequence.’

An Asda spokesman said: ‘Our customers can be assured that we’ll continue to invest in keeping prices low across both own brand and branded items.’

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