Branding is seen on a shopping trolley at a branch of the Sainsbury's supermarket in London
Branding is seen on a shopping trolley at a branch of the Sainsbury's supermarket in London, Britain, January 7, 2022.

British supermarket group Sainsbury's, seeking an edge amid a worsening cost of living crisis, will for the first time include its biggest selling lines in a scheme that matches the prices of German-owned discounter Aldi.

Pessimism among Britain's households has hit unprecedented levels as wages struggle to keep pace with inflation that reached 9% in April and is heading for double digits.

To try to deter cash-strapped shoppers from switching to discounters Aldi and Lidl, Sainsbury's, Britain's No. 2 grocer, and market leader Tesco have schemes that match Aldi's prices on some products.

Sainsbury's said on Wednesday its top 20 highest volume items would now be price-matched to Aldi.

Other changes to the scheme, launched in February 2021, will see 150 of its highest volume fresh items included in a total of 250 price-matched products.

Sainsbury's said a focus will be on the key footfall drivers of meat and poultry. Over 60% more volume in these categories will be included in the scheme.

Other key items such as butter, onions, cauliflower and oven chips will also be included.

In total, over 6% of Sainsbury's total volume will now be price matched to Aldi.

Aldi declined to comment.

Sainsbury's move is part of its plan to spend 500 million pounds ($603 million) over the two years to March 2023 to keep a lid on prices.

Monthly industry data has shown Sainsbury's losing market share on a sales value basis.

However, Sainsbury's says it is raising prices less than its major peers and winning market share on a volume basis.

In April, both Tesco and Sainsbury's warned of lower profit this year.

Tesco will update on first quarter trading on Friday.

($1 = 0.8292 pounds)