Britain's Sainsbury's cuts price of bread and butter

FILE PHOTO: A employee walks inside a Sainsbury’s supermarket in Richmond, west London

LONDON (Reuters) - Sainsbury's, Britain's second largest supermarket group, has cut the price of bread and butter, in another sign that a surge in food inflation is set to abate and even reverse in the coming months.

The group said on Tuesday it had cut the price of Sainsbury's 800g Soft White Medium, Wholemeal Medium, Wholemeal Thick and Toastie White loaves of bread by 11% to 75 pence.

It has also cut the price of its Sainsbury's salted and unsalted butter to 1.89 pounds for 250g, a 5% reduction.

"Whenever we are paying less for the products we buy from our suppliers, we will pass those savings on to customers," Rhian Bartlett, Sainsbury's food commercial director said.

Official data showed UK food prices were 19.1% higher in March than a year earlier, the biggest such rise since August 1977, while in April grocery inflation was 17.3%, according to industry data.

Food retailers have said they expect prices to rise in 2023 overall but the rate of inflation will decline through the year, with some products that have seen the sharpest rises falling in price.

Prices for milk have already fallen and market leader Tesco said last month it expected the prices of bakery products and vegetable oils to come down as deflation in commodity markets feeds through.

Retailers deny claims that they are profiteering, saying they have taken a profit hit and have margins of 4% or less.

Last month, Sainsbury's reported a 5% fall in 2022-23 profit, while Tesco reported a 6.3% fall.

(Reporting by James Davey, Editing by Paul Sandle)