Jack Monroe praises Asda for increasing Smart Price product availability

The poverty campaigner had complained about price rises and the disappearance of value products in supermarkets.

12 February 2022

Poverty campaigner Jack Monroe has praised Asda for making good on its pledge to roll out its lowest-priced value range to more stores.

She wrote a series of tweets about rediscovering products from the supermarket’s Smart Price and Farm Stores ranges at her local store, saying it had made her “happiest shopping experience in over a decade”.

Monroe complained several weeks ago that the cost of everyday essentials was going up more than official inflation rates.

The food writer also said some items from the Smart Price range were no longer available online.

In response, Asda said it would stock its Smart Price and Farm Stores ranges in all 581 food stores and online by March 1 to help its customers with the cost-of-living crisis.

All branches will have the full range of 200 Smart Price and Farm Stores lines, the company said.

It confirmed on Saturday that the full range is already available online.

Monroe shared photos of products at Asda in Shoeburyness, Essex, that have reverted to their price from a year ago.

Jack Monroe
Jack Monroe (Jonathan Brady/PA)

In one tweet, she said she found a kilogramme bag of rice that was back to its old price of 45p, after jumping last month to £1 for 500g – a price increase of 344%.

She wrote: “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.”

The company promised to “do better”, she said, as she praised the “remarkable” speed of the turnaround.

“The impact that this will have on millions of people, is impossible to overstate,” she said, adding that she “cried, quietly, to myself, in Asda” at the development.

She also wrote: “So I guess I just wanted to say thanks to everyone at Asda who has worked really hard over the last few weeks to bring the missing SmartPrice products back.”

Meg Farren, Asda’s chief customer officer, said: “We want to help our customers’ budgets stretch further and have taken on board the comments about the availability of our Smart Price range made by Jack Monroe.

“We are taking steps to put our full Smart Price and Farm Stores ranges in store and online to make these products as accessible as possible.”

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