Asda is gearing up for a major revamp of its Extra Special range to reflect its partnership with Leiths School of Food & Wine.

The rollout will begin this Christmas with a range of Leiths-branded Christmas products. The remainder of the Extra Special range will be rebranded from January.

Packaging and design are still being worked out, as is the name of the new range, although the Leiths brand will feature prominently.

The move follows a successful pilot partnership that began at the end of last year. As a result of the tie-up, under which Leiths approved and promoted a selection of Asda’s Extra Special Christmas range, Extra Special became the fastest- growing premium own-label range in December.

Ahead of the revamp, a team of Leiths-trained tasters and recipe developers has moved to new premises in London dedicated to developing the Asda range. The team will evaluate and improve the existing range of products as well as develop new lines.

“It is absolutely huge,” said a spokeswoman for Asda. “We are going to launch a Leiths-branded range of products for Christmas 2012 and following that, all of our Extra Special range will be approved and created by Leiths. They are currently working with our product teams to develop how the range will look.”

Branding specialists The Clearing said it was a positive move. “Asda shoppers haven’t necessarily had as credible a premium range as they should,” said consultant, Jonathan Hubbard. “By building a more coherent range, Asda has a better weapon to take on the competition. It also taps into the MasterChef world of learning and improving your cookery.”

Asda’s premium own-label range has grown 12.6% in volume and 6.8% in value over the past three months [12 w/e 19 February, Kantar Worldpanel].