Sainsbury’s increases price of value range bacon by 177% causing customer outrage

One shopper asked “how can you sleep at night” after the price of the cheapest bacon at Sainsbury’s rose almost threefold - and 20 times faster than inflation.

Sainsbury’s has been accused of “making life harder in hard enough times” after hiking the price of a value packet of bacon by a massive 177% in just one month.

The 500g family pack of cooking bacon by J. James and Family (the company’s value line for fresh meat and fish) was 75p when NationalWorld took a snapshot at the start of August, as part of our ongoing value range price tracker.

But by the start of September, the cost had risen to a staggering £2.08 – almost three times more expensive.

Outrage: customers slam Sainsbury’s after it almost tripled the price of its cheapest pack of bacon (Image: NationalWorld/Kim Mogg)

It was one of two dozen price rises recorded across the various Sainsbury’s value ranges that month. You can find out how prices for value range products at supermarkets including Asda, Tesco, Morrisons and Aldi changed in our monthly price tracker index.

The rapid price rise on the family bacon appeared to have caught some Sainsbury’s customers out. One angry shopper left a review for the item titled “robbed”.

“How do you sleep at night,” the shopper wrote. “Got hit hard as I had four packs in my last order at 75p only to find you raised it to £2.08 day before my delivery! Thanks for making life harder in hand [sic] enough times. Shopping elsewhere!”

This family pack of cooking bacon used to cost 75p at Sainsbury’s. It is now £2.08.

Another reviewer said the product had been “excellent value and a regular purchase” – but they had been shocked to find the price had “trebled virtually overnight” after buying three packs without checking the price until they got home. “I will be returning for a refund and will not buy again,” they vowed.

When approached by NationalWorld, Sainsbury’s pointed out it had other bacon products available for cheaper.

This includes:

  • J. James and Family 300g pack of smoked back bacon for £1.25
  • J. James and Family 250g pack of reduced salt unsmoked back bacon for £1.39
  • J. James and Family 350g pack of unsmoked middle bacon for £1.50

These products are all between 2.8 and 3.7 times more expensive than the original 75p family pack of cooking bacon on a pence per gram basis.

One shopper claimed they had been charged £2.08 per pack after placing an order for four packets before the price changed.

It comes after our exclusive research revealed supermarkets had been raising prices for their budget items faster than the overall rate of inflation between April and June.

According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), the rate of inflation for pork products stood at 15.5% in August, meaning prices were on average 15.5% higher compared to a year earlier.

That is based on the Consumer Prices Index (CPI). You can find out more about the latest CPI and how it is calculated in our inflation explainer.

NationalWorld first took a price snapshot of the J. James and Family bacon in April, when it was still 75p. Between then and August, the ONS data shows pork prices have risen by 9%.

NationalWorld asked Sainsbury’s why it had imposed a 177% price rise on its basic bacon – a rise 20 times higher than pork inflation. It did not answer this question.

A spokesperson said: “With costs going up, we are working hard to keep prices low.

“We are investing over half a billion pounds to ensure the items people buy most often are on the shelves at the best prices and we are confident our Sainsbury’s Quality, Aldi Price Match campaign and Price Lock promise are making a big difference to our customers.

“In stores and online customers can now find new, low prices on everyday staples - from chicken breasts to mincemeat, butter, onions and strawberries.

“The bold steps we are taking to focus on value means all our customers will find great deals when they shop with us and do not need to go anywhere else to get the best prices on their weekly shop.”