Sainsbury is getting much attention for its anti-theft protection of this salted butter called Lurpak.

Sainsbury is getting much attention for its anti-theft protection of this salted butter called Lurpak.
© Adobe Stock / Philip Kinsey

British supermarkets add anti-theft protection to butter and cheese

UK Food & Beverage

Until now, customers only knew the security tag from high-priced items such as alcohol or perfume. Now, several British supermarkets are also protecting basic foodstuffs such as cheese, butter and baby food with anti-theft technology.

In addition to rocketing prices for commodities such as oil and gas, basic foodstuffs are also becoming more and more expensive. For some households, they are no longer affordable – at least, this is the conclusion that can be drawn from the rise in shoplifting. Many supermarket chains are now taking security measures to protect their products from thieves. The pictures soon went viral on social media, especially on Twitter.

The photos show, among other things, cans of baby food or pre-packed cheese. Sainsbury´s is attracting particular attention for its anti-theft protection of a lightly salted butter called “Lurpak”, which has become indispensable in millions of British fridges. According to the Daily Mail, the price per kilo of the Danish butter is almost 10 pounds – the equivalent of just under 12 euros. Besides dairy products, meat has also become far more expensive. Lamb, for example, is said to cost a whopping 8 pounds at the “Co-op” chain and is therefore offered in GPS-protected security boxes, which usually house electrical appliances.

Products for children such as baby food or vitamins are also affected. The retailer Morrisons electronically secures children’s multivitamins priced at 8.50 pounds from thieves, according to the Independent. These products are currently in fashion as caterers have recently warned of a decline in the quality of their food due to rising prices. School meals, which are free for most children up to second grade, are also affected.

Inflation at a 40-year high

British inflation is to blame for the rising prices. At more than 9 per cent, inflation is close to its highest level since February 1982, with many companies having to raise the prices of specific products by up to 30 per cent, according to the BBC and industry body Laca. This gives the UK the highest inflation rate of any major industrialised nation. Germany, by comparison, currently has an inflation rate of 7.6 per cent. Because the cost of living has exploded, experts fear that millions of British households could fall into poverty. Sainsbury boss Simon Roberts also predicts that the situation will get worse in the course of the year. The pressure on household budgets will “only increase” given inflation, said Roberts in an interview with ntv.

By its own account, Sainsbury has invested 500 million pounds to keep the prices of its products as low as possible. Consumer advocate Marc Gander of the Consumer Action Group believes that the shoppers’ concerns are justified. In the Independent, he recommends that they buy cheaper brands instead of expensive products.

Falstaff Editorial Team
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