The retailer said it was putting health at the heart of its business and was determined to be Britain’s healthiest supermarket. As well as the price cuts, which cover both own-label and branded products, it has completely overhauled Good for you!, doubling the number of products in one go to more than 550 (The Grocer, July 24,
2004 p10). It has also reformulated and repackaged its economy Smartprice range. As a result, this year its customers would consume 180 tonnes less fat, 130 tonnes less sugar and 189 tonnes less salt, it said.
The price cuts are on top of a £100m investment in price this quarter, the largest amount Asda has invested in one go. Last year the figure was £70m for the same period.
The £100m price cuts cover most-shopped items and big name brands but the products earmarked will be the healthiest in each category.
“It is not just about driving a healthy agenda but about doing it in a way that is affordable to our customers,” said Angela Spindler, trading and marketing director. “We are saying there will be no premium on eating healthily.”
She added that it had “not been difficult” to persuade brand manufacturers to roll back prices on healthier varieties. Buyers have been instructed to ensure prices are the same or better value on healthy products and have been set targets for ratio of healthier options in their categories, both in own label and brand.
Asda is the first to appoint a health tsar, with Hazel Detsiny now co-ordinating the retailer’s health strategy. It is also investing £7m in a health promotion campaign, including debuting Good for you! in TV ads this month and offering 110,000 free health checks by nurses in its 217 stores.