A few weeks ago The Grocer wondered whether Andy Clarke had stumbled into a ‘Ratner moment’ by admitting the quality of Asda’s food wasn’t up to scratch.
We reckoned he’d be okay if the noble intention was backed up by some hefty investment.
Today Clarke put his money where his mouth is – unveiling the fruits of a nine-month drive to improve food quality that has apparently cost the supermarket £100m so far.
Asda has trumpeted the launch of ‘Chosen By You’ as both the biggest own-label revamp in UK retail and the “most significant food development” in its own history.
All this, it has promised, “without impacting prices for customers”.
Unfortunately, spies from The Grocer were not among the 40,000 consumers that contributed to an “unprecedented” bout of taste testing. But the revamped packaging is certainly an improvement. Even if some observers felt it reminded them of Sainsbury’s, showing off more of the food itself is surely a sign of confidence.
It’ll be a while before we see whether the supermarket’s attempt to play catch-up on quality restores some momentum. There are also question marks over where today’s news leaves the Smart Price and Extra Special ranges.
Still, with Ocado last week unveiling its debut own-label range and Sainsbury’s also poised to make some changes to its own self-branded line-up, The Grocer’s Own-Label Awards could hardly be better timed.
The deadline for entry is 30 October, so Asda won’t have too long to wait to find out if Chosen By You will be chosen by us.
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