Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Not Everyone Likes a [Pounds Sterling]3 Festive Dinner

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Not Everyone Likes a [Pounds Sterling]3 Festive Dinner

Article excerpt

Byline: Chris Blackhurst City Editor

MARC BOLLAND grabbed a bag of meat pasties. They're four for [pounds sterling]2. Then the Morrisons chief executive showed me some fresh pasta. It's 69p. "Look at that. I can take you to the fish counter and you can choose two lovely pieces of salmon fillet. Add some cream and you will have a meal for two of fresh pasta with salmon in a cream sauce for below [pounds sterling]2 per person. You have to agree, that's not bad."

I was meeting Bolland in the Morrisons store in Wimbledon. The snob in me said "steady on, this is Morrisons". But the reality was that -- on appearance at any rate -- the quality was hard to fault. How does he do it? "It's a big secret," he said, laughing.

While Morrisons is performing well at present, gaining market share and growing margins, it's not alone. Newspapers and TV are awash with advertisements from supermarkets trying to outdo each other on price. In one newspaper alone last week, I counted 12 from different chains boasting of their offers on food and drink.

With Christmas coming, research reveals it's possible this year to have a turkey dinner with all the trimmings for less than [pounds sterling]3 a head. Good Housekeeping Institute has compared Christmas Day staples and found Morrisons and Lidl are selling 4.2kg basted turkeys for [pounds sterling]9.99, Lidl has sprouts and carrots at 49p for 1kg and two 500g packs of parsnips for 98p. Morrisons wins on potatoes -- 88p for 880g of Maris Pipers. Tesco is ahead on dessert, with a Christmas pudding for just [pounds sterling]1 and six mince pies for 59p.

Go to Sainsbury's and their sage and onion stuffing mix is 16p a pack. What this translates into is a groaning table for eight that costs just [pounds sterling]22.27 to put together.

Chuck in Asda's three bottles of wine for a tenner and you can do the whole lot for little more than [pounds sterling]30.

Not to be outdone, those who consider themselves at the top of the market -- Marks & Spencer and Waitrose -- are having a feud of their own. M&S is taking out advertisements comparing the prices of its Wise Buys versus Waitrose's Essentials value range. …

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