Asda has overtaken rival Sainsbury’s in private label market share according to the Walmart-owned grocer’s chief executive Andy Clarke.

Clarke told the IGD Convention that the launch of the Chosen By You range was key to the advance.

He said: “Last year we launched Chosen By You. It’s now the fastest growing own-label brand in the UK and makes up 40% of our food sales.

“For the first time in our history our private label market share is ahead of JS.”

He said that there would be “more to come” and that the range highlighted Asda’s commitment to quality. “A tremendous amount of innovation has gone into developing the methodology behind Chosen By You,” he said.

“The bottom line is that if a product doesn’t meet the standards of our customers it won’t be on Asda’s shelves.”

Earlier IGD chief executive Joanne Denney-Finch said IGD research had highlighted the appeal of own-label.

She said: “The appeal of brand heritage has been strengthening and yet 79% of shoppers feel that own-brands have been improving in quality.”

She cautioned that standards must be maintained. “Shoppers need our help to save money and they have some very strong preferences. Their biggest no-no is reformulating products to keep to a price point.”

  • Asda today has launched a community programme, called Community Life, in 31 stores. It will be introduced in all shops next year. Clarke said: “The retailer that innovates around community and operates with the consent of community will be the retailer of the future.”