UK – UK supermarket chain Iceland Foods has announced a reduction in the prices of Nestlé’s SMA brand baby formula products as part of an initiative to address concerns over the cost of infant formula in the country.

Starting from February 27, two Nestlé SMA products, the Little Steps First Infant formula and the Follow-on Milk, will be available at Iceland’s Food Warehouse stores and online for £7.95 (US$10.08).

Iceland, which has been advocating for relaxed restrictions on infant formula promotion in the UK, plans to extend the price reduction across all its stores following the initial rollout.

According to the retailer, the new price is £1.80 less than any other supermarket and even cheaper than German discounter Aldi’s brand, Mamia.

“That is why we are heaping further pressure on the manufacturers, the regulators and the market as a whole to bring prices down, just like Iceland is doing,” Richard Walker, Executive Chairman of Iceland Foods stated.

Iceland compared the prices of the SMA products against other supermarkets such as Tesco, Asda, Sainsbury’s, and Morrisons, as well as pharmacy chains Boots and Chemist Direct, and online retailer Ocado.

The move comes in response to the UK Competition and Markets Authority’s (CMA) investigation into the infant formula market, prompted by a 25% rise in average prices over the previous two years, as revealed in November.

The CMA’s investigation will utilize compulsory information-gathering powers, signaling a more proactive approach.

Nestlé and Danone dominate the UK infant formula market, and the pricing practices of these companies are under scrutiny.

Dr. Erin Williams, Co-founder and Director of the charity organization Feed, commended Iceland’s initiative and urged other retailers and formula companies to follow suit.

She emphasized the significant impact of lower prices on essential baby products, highlighting the challenges faced by struggling families.

The move by Iceland follows a broader trend in the industry. In January, French dairy giant Danone reduced the wholesale price of its Aptamil infant formula by 7%, with Iceland subsequently offering reduced prices for three Aptamil ranges in its stores.

Subscribe to our food and agriculture industry email newsletters that provide busy executives like you with the latest news insights and trends from Africa and the World. SUBSCRIBE HERE