Asda is attempting to woo southern shoppers by showcasing its Extra Special range in its “festive kitchen” at the Taste of London Winter event.
The supermarket provided free samples from the premium own label range whilst Asda chefs joined celebrity chefs to give live cooking demos in the Asda kitchen, which was filled with leather sofas and log-cabin interiors.
“While our heartland is very much in the North, it’s no secret that over the next five years we’re committed to growing in London and the South East. This week, we’re instigating a northern takeover and turning Taste of London Winter to Asda green – luring London foodies a few pantone-shades away from the Waitrose green they’re used to,” said Asda chief customer officer Steve Smith.
“We work hard to source the very best food - putting the premium into the product but not the price - for both our loyal and new customers. We’re here to shout about it and let Londoners know it’s ok if they want to enjoy our outstanding quality, uniqueness and value.”
The supermarket was promoting its Christmas cake at the event, which took first place in Lorraine Pascale’s bling taste test for the Telegraph newspaper.
“So many people today have told me how surprised they are that this range is from Asda. The Extra Special range means that when people want to really treat themselves, they don’t need to go elsewhere- they can get really special products in Asda at the same time as buying more everyday items,” said Asda brand manager for Extra Special Joanna Johnson.
Johnson also said the premium range was driven by wider shopper trends of customers “trading up” when it comes to product choice.
However, with grocery inflation running at -0.4% and average household grocery spending declining by 1.1%, there is only “thin evidence” that some shoppers are “trading up” Kantar Worldpanel revealed.
“There definitely is an appetite for premium own label as part of a wider repertoire, 12% of Asda baskets contain an Extra special item, so Asda Extra Special is certainly performing well, but our data shows this to be Asda specific, rather than a consumer wide shift towards premium own label,” said Kantar Worldpanel head of retail and consumer insight Fraser McKevitt.
“Also it’s worth remembering that Extra Special is less than half the relative size of Tesco Finest or Sainsbury’s Taste The Difference, so growth is relatively easy to come by, but won’t contribute so much to the total store.”