The Co-operative is to become the first UK supermarket group to offer a discount to students.

From Monday September 23, all 600,000 students with an NUS extra card will receive a 10% discount on groceries at over 3,600 participating Co-operative Food stores.

As well as the 2,800 Co-operative Group food stores, the discount will also be available in Anglia, Midcounties, Midlands, Scottish Midlands and Southern Co-operative societies. There are some exemptions to the discount including cigarettes and tobacco, phone cards, National and Health Lottery, stamps and PayPoint.

Co-operative Food head of commercial grocery CJ Antal-Smith said the discount would help students suffering “increased financial pressures”.

“We wanted to help students, many of whom are living away from home for the first time, to live and cook on a budget,” she said. “As a community-based retailer, with a store in every UK postal area, the Co-operative is ideal for students picking up food on their way to and from lectures.

“By offering a 10% discount with an NUS extra card, we’re giving a big incentive for students to make good, healthy choices about the food they eat.”

NUS vice president Raechel Mattey said: “When we asked our students what they most wanted from NUS extra, a supermarket deal was the overwhelming answer. We’re so proud to be able to partner with the Co-operative on this, because of its ethical food policies and its support for Fairtrade. 

“This deal reflects the realities of students’ lives by addressing finance and the rising cost of living, nutrition and student lifestyle priorities.”