A sister company to potato giant Albert Bartlett has launched a new grower-owned soup brand - Bartlett’s Bowlfuls - into Tesco stores following the delisting of New Covent Garden Soup last October.
The exclusive-to-Tesco brand is owned by Alan Bartlett & Sons and comprises three lines - carrot & ginger, British onion and parsnip & honey, which hit around 100 Tesco stores in East Anglia and London this week, at an rsp of £2.20 for a 600g pot.
The soups are manufactured in Somerset and use carrots and parsnips grown by Alan Bartlett, while onions are bought in from a third-party supplier. They allowed Bartlett to utilise produce that would otherwise go to third-party processors, said at Alan Bartlett commercial manager Toby Bartlett.
“We looked at different ways we could add value into the stuff we weren’t putting into the retailers,” he explained. If the products performed well, the company hoped they would be stocked nationwide, he added.
The carrots used were smaller than those ordinarily used by soup-makers - because they would have been grown for retailer budget lines - meaning they had a better, more condensed flavour, Bartlett claimed.
Bartlett will look to vary the soups according to the seasons - launching, for example, a tomato and pea & mint soup in the summer.
Alan Bartlett made its first foray into the branded arena in June 2010 with Bartlett’s Bushytops - carrots sold with their leafy stalks.
Its sister company Albert Bartlett & Sons owns the Rooster potato and Scotty fresh produce brands.
Alan Bartlett had a history of growing produce of “great quality and freshness in the heart of Cambridgeshire,” said Simon Dryell, senior buying manager in Tesco’s Local Sourcing team.