Sainsbury’s has added to the supermarket bread price war by slashing prices of large Hovis loaves to 75p. 

The retailer dropped 800g Hovis white and wholemeal and 750g Best of Both loaves from £1 as well as cutting nine of its 800g own-label from 75p to 55p, according to British Baker’s sister title The Grocer. The cuts mean Sainsbury’s now has the lowest base price for a large branded and standard own-label loaf of the Big Four.

Sainsbury’s lower prices could be here to stay, as it branded loaves at 75p as “a new regular price” in ads. It matches promotional prices of two Hovis loaves for £1.50 in Waitrose, which has run since mid-January.

Morrisons offers the next-cheapest 800g own-label loaf of the Big Four, with six lines priced at 59p each. Discounters Aldi and Lidl sell the same sized loaf for as little as 45p.

In September, Sainsbury’s shaved 30p off the price of specified 800g loaves including in-store bakery loaves of that size, which took the price down to £1. And last April The Co-operative launched a new range of 75p own-label 800g loaves as part of its then-new Value for Money campaign. Around the same time, Tesco and Asda also reduced loaves to 75p and 79p respectively.

Unit sales of wrapped bread across the three major brands and own-label have fallen 4.5% year-on-year and price deflation has pushed value down 9.6% [IRI 52 w/e 6 December 2014].

The market is also under pressure from wheat prices, with costs set to remain high until the start of the 2015 crop in August.