Somerfield is overhauling its premium and healthy own-label ranges in an effort to challenge consumer perceptions it is just a top-up shop.

It has launched dozens of new products in its Best Ever and Healthy Choice ranges after it discovered that many of its shoppers were going elsewhere to complete their weekly shop.

The healthy line-up includes products such as pomegranate juice, deli-style olives and a chicken & stuffing sandwich, while Best Ever products include chocolate cup cakes and hickory & oak-smoked salmon.

The move is the latest plank in Somerfield's strategy to become "Britain's favourite local grocery shop", said innovations director Sandra Ziles. "We know we are a top-up shop for a lot of customers," she said. "Our mission is to encourage more of those customers to shop with us more often as a good convenient shop."

Somerfield needed to have more healthier alternatives and more treats, which would encourage customers to trade up, she added. The premium and healthy ranges will be expanded further in the next 12 months with another 30 or 40 lines, which are currently being developed, to keep up with increasing demand, said the company.

Somerfield is introducing the new lines following a major product overhaul in the past year in which every recipe was reformulated.

The company said sales of its healthy ranges were up an unprecedented 600% in the past 12 months [TNS 52w/e 31 December 2007].

The move had resulted in salt and all hydrogenated fat being removed "in one big hit", said Ziles.