Morrisons chief executive David Potts is bidding to leverage and expand the grocer’s own brand ranges in an effort to combat inflation.

The grocer relaunched its premium private label range ‘Best’ last year and is also pressing ahead with investment into improving the quality, presentation and price points of its mid-tier products.

During its first quarter ending April 30, when group like-for-like sales advanced 3.4%, Morrisons also introduced the ‘Eat Smart’ healthy-eating range as it bids to further enhance its own brand credentials.

Value for money

Speaking after unveiling the supermarket giant’s sixth consecutive quarter of growth, Potts said: “I see own brand being bang on strategy for consumers.

“As they experience some inflation in their broader lives, it falls to Morrisons to keep a lid on other types of costs and to provide more great value for money through own brand as we go through the year.”

Potts said ‘Best’ had “got off to a good start” on that front last autumn, when it re-launched with 470 lines.

More product lines

Morrisons introduced a further 100 festive SKUs to the range over Christmas and rolled out 50 more seasonal lines at Easter.

The Bradford-based business also added another 50 products to its core ‘Best’ range during the quarter, taking the underlying proposition past the 500-SKU mark.

But Potts insisted there is room for further growth in its premium proposition.

“At some point, we should arrive at around 1,000 [lines], plus seasonal,” he said. “Customers like it and it’s great value for money.”

In comparison, Potts said the arrival of ‘Eat Smart’ on shelves had been “quite a soft launch” with under 100 items currently being stocked.

But he said the range “could be more and should be more over time.”