A food blogger has told of her relief after Asda dropped food prices making life easier for “millions” of its customers.
Jack Monroe, who calls herself a former foodbank user and campaigner against poverty on her Twitter account, went on a personal crusade to bring down prices.
Following an anti-poverty campaign by Jack and others, Asda recently said it would stock the full range of its cheaper Smart Price and Farm Stores products in all its 581 stores, rather than 150 products in 300 stores, by March 1.
READ MORE: Asda makes major change to every store following pressure from campaigners
And today Jack went on a personal expedition to her local Asda to monitor the supermarket giant’s fluctuating pricing scheme for staples like pasta, rice and beans. She chronicled the ups and downs on Twitter.
Using the account @BootstrapCook she’s had a huge response from other grateful customers for her actions at a time when food and energy prices are going up leaving millions out of pocket.
She tweeted: “Woke up this morning and realized I couldn’t procrastinate my food shop for a day longer, and decided it was time – three and a half weeks on from my accidentally viral tweet about the prices of basic foods at the supermarket – to brave it, and see what, if anything, had changed.”
First she checked out the price of pasta at her Asda store in Shoeburyness in Essex.
And she was delighted with what she saw.
“This time last year, the cheapest pasta in my local supermarket (Asda, Shoeburyness), was 29p for 500g. Last month it jumped to 70p. That was a 141% price increase as it hits the poorest and most vulnerable households. I literally held my breath as I turned into the paste isolate.”
Here was the good news.
She found that it had gone back to its original price, much to Jack’s surprise.
And there was another pleasant surprise as Jack checked the price of baked beans.
The price went up but came back down again.
Jack says she was quick to criticize Asda for withdrawing “supermarket basic ranges” for what it meant for “the poorest and most vulnerable in society”.
But she says they listened and brought those ranges back in her local store, at least.
“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. And to their credit, they read it all, and a LOT of your comments too, reached out, and said they’d do better,” she tweeted.
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Jack feels she was able to save money on basics which made her feel great.
“And today, I could put extra treats in my shopping basket for SB. Today, I managed to get so much in my £20 basket that I was clutching rice and oats and muesli to my bosom as I wrestled to the checkout. Today is the happiest shopping experience in over a decade.”
Many people on Twitter praised her for her actions.
Anne Barncroft wrote: “You’ve really, actually made the lives of people who are struggling easier! I’m so impressed!”
Joanne Harris wrote: “You did it, Jack. Well done x”
And Ian Harris posted: “Brilliant work, Jack, thank you.”
I included a link to Heather Small singing Proud and commented “I sort of hope you have this blaring out….”
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