A high-profile investigation has exposed some of the misleading pricing tricks used by the big four supermarkets to lure shoppers into spending.

An investigation by the BBC’s Panorama programme has revealed that not all “bargains and promises of huge savings” at Asda, Tesco, Sainsbury’s and Morrisons are what they seem.

Top of the list were “multi-buy non-deals”, where shelf-edge labelling announces ‘two for £2’, but fails to highlight that there is no saving as the items are in fact priced at £1 each.

The supermarkets’ tactics of raising rrps for a certain period of time before cutting them down to their original levels and advertising the fall as a “price slash” were also highlighted.

According to Panorama, Tesco seemed to do this with its medium whole fresh chickens, which rose from £4 to £5 for a little over two months before the Big Price Drop saw it drop back down to the original price of £4.

Labelling products with ‘Now £2’ flashes while failing to mention the old often cheaper price also came under scrutiny.

Former Office of Fair Trading head John Bridgeman said the supermarkets had a responsibility to be straight with customers.