We finally know what those white stripes on raw chicken really are.
We finally know what those white stripes on raw chicken really are.

Coles kicks off fresh chicken war

COLES has kicked off a new price war, reducing the price of its chicken breasts to the "lowest in years".

The supermarket is cutting the price of its RSPCA-approved fresh chicken breasts from $9/kg to $8.50/kg nationwide. Woolworths' chicken breasts are temporarily price-dropped to $9/kg and will increase back to $10/kg next week.

Chicken is now by far the most popular meat consumed in Australia, far outstripping beef which, partly due to rising prices, has been steadily declining in popularity since the 1970s. But recent factors including the price of grain have been pushing up the cost of poultry.

"We know that poultry products are bought by three-quarters of all households and that chicken breasts are our customers' favourite cut, because they buy tens of millions of kilograms over the course of a year," Coles director of fresh food Alex Freudmann said in a statement.

"We believe that dropping the price of our RSPCA-approved chicken breasts, along with the great value Coles delivers on poultry across the deli and meat case will encourage customers to stick with our chicken, when its price is going up elsewhere.

"This is yet another example of Coles working closely with our suppliers to invest in value for our customers and lower the cost of living for Australian families."

Yash Gandhi, marketing director at Coles' chicken supplier Steggles, said, "We are delighted to be able to work with Coles to ensure that the humble fresh chicken breast continues to be a favourite on dinner tables across the country."

In March, roast chicken prices came under the spotlight, with a $1 price hike by both supermarkets described as an "industry-changing event" by one analyst. Bank of America Merrill Lynch's David Errington said the move could signal the end of the "race to the bottom".

Retail giant Wesfarmers is currently in the process of spinning off Coles into a separate listed entity, with the demerger expected to be completed by November. Under the arrangement, Wesfarmers will retain 15 per cent of Coles but hold on to 50 per cent of the lucrative FlyBuys scheme.