Co-operative societies are ditching the iconic Co-op 'clover' on own-label packaging as part of an overhaul to tie in with the unifying fascia created this year by the Co-operative Group.

Current packaging for the 3,000 products branded ­

'Co-op' is to be abandoned, with a new design phased in over the next three years. The Healthy Living range will be the first on shelf in new packaging featuring the words 'The Co-operative', next January.

The branding tallies with the new fascia, which also carries the words 'The Co-operative'.

A spokeswoman for the Co-operative Group said that, although the redesign was linked with the fascia, it would not be an issue for societies who did not wish to adopt the new signage. Besides the Co-operative Group, Midcounties and Manx Co-operative Societies are among those adopting the new branding, and Leeds Co-operative is piloting it. But some have rejected the idea, while others are yet to decide.

The spokeswoman said: "All Co-op societies currently take own-label Co-op products bearing the Co-op clover, irrespective of the fact that not all societies have that on their exterior. Some have the rainbow and others have Welcome.

"If every store was called 'The Co-op' and had own-label food with that name and we changed it to 'The Co-operative' it might be an issue." The clover leaf wasn't that common as a fascia, she added, and the new branding would similarly stand alone.

In August the Co-operative Group announced it was rebranding its stores with a unifying fascia to link all its businesses and make them more recognisable to the public.

The society hoped others would take the new fascia on board and create a UK-wide brand.

A spokeswoman for Plymouth & South West Co-operative Society, which is not adopting the fascia, said: "Consumers are more interested in the taste and quality of Co-op own-label products and the standard of store and customer ­service they receive than whether they have the ­clover leaf or Co-operative brand on the packaging."