Grocers Asda and Sainsbury’s went head-to-head this week with the relaunch of own-brand ranges.
Asda relaunched its mid-tier brand, previously called ‘Asda’ and now called ‘Chosen By You’, while Sainsbury’s relaunched its premium ‘Taste the Difference’ range, in what it has called its “biggest ever investment in own brand”.
While the two ranges are not in direct competition, the grocers will be fighting it out for shoppers’ attention and spend, and both launches are backed by TV advertising campaigns.
Asda has invested £100m in the relaunch of its mid-tier range, which represents the largest proportion of total revenue, with annual sales of £8bn to £9bn. The move follows a nine-month tasting exercise involving more than 40,000 people, in which 3,500 products were independently tested by Cambridge Market Research.
Of those, 500 are new products and another 1,000 have been reformulated. New products include the Ultimate Steak Pie and Loaded Sticky Toffee Pudding ice cream. Asda claimed the range will continue to be up to 20% cheaper than the equivalent leading brand.
Asda chief executive Andy Clarke would not comment on how the quality is benchmarked to its competitors’ brands, but said he was confident of the effect of the relaunch will have on sales. Asda has lagged behind its competitors in market share figures for the past nine months and Clarke said earlier in the year that it needed to focus on quality as well as price.
He said this week: “Asda has always been known for price and that remains a key focus, but now we will also be known for quality. The Asda brand was previously invisible in our customers’ minds but now it will stand out for quality and price.”
Sainsbury’s relaunched its premium range, adding 150 lines to bring the total to 1,141. It has added a Bistro range, aimed at offering restaurant-quality meals to tap into the trend of shoppers treating themselves more at home rather than going out.