A spokesman insisted: "We wanted to make it easier for our customers, but it's still Cheddar cheese."
Nigel White of the British Cheese Board said he was baffled by the move. "It's all rather strange and it's not particularly helpful to the consumer to call it simply Cheese'. In fact I would say it's positively unhelpful.
"It's like going into a pub and simply asking for a beer."
Sainsbury also has an economy range simply called Cheese'
However a spokeswoman said although it was a Cheddar type cheese, it was unable to call it Cheddar because its lower fat content did not fit the specifications.
Tesco stressed its decision to launch Cheese' was nothing to do with with the technical specifications of the product, although the healthy eating option could not be labelled Cheddar due to its low fat and higher moisture content.