The parent company of Winn-Dixie said it will spend $40 million to slash prices on more than 1,500 popular items at its grocery stores.

Winn-Dixie has nearly 520 grocery stores across the South, including 41 in metro Baton Rouge, New Orleans and Lafayette.

The move, which takes effect Wednesday, will permanently lower prices on items that a significant majority of Winn-Dixie customers purchase regularly, such as Kellogg’s Frosted Flakes cereal, Hellmann’s mayonnaise and Gatorade. On average, prices on these items will be reduced by almost 20 percent. In some cases, the prices will be cut by more than half.

“Research consistently tells us that customers are seeking lower prices, wherever they shop, particularly hardworking families shopping on a budget,” said Ian McLeod, the president and chief executive officer of Southeastern Grocers, the parent company of Winn-Dixie.