Waitrose’s pledge to match Tesco prices on all branded grocery products is a “seminal moment”, MD Mark Price has declared.

Price wrote to customers on Wednesday telling them Waitrose’s Brand Price Match had been extended from 1,000 products to all branded grocery items, excluding any on promotion. The supermarket claimed the pledge would commit it to price-matching just under 7,000 products.

Price’s letter also made a swipe at rival supermarket price-matching schemes by saying that Brand Price Match involved no gimmicks, vouchers or need to check online.

However, he told The Grocer that Waitrose was not after Tesco shoppers. “We’ve got a small core, and a long tail of occasional shoppers. We’re saying to them, ‘you don’t need to go elsewhere’,” he said. “It’s what we’ve been building up to for five years. It’s a seminal moment,” he added.

Despite Waitrose’s bold claims, some branded products were cheaper at Tesco on Thursday.

A litre of Tropicana orange and mango juice, for example, was £2.29 at Tesco but £2.59 at Waitrose, and a 300g refill pack of Nescafé Gold Blend cost £8 at Tesco but £8.99 at Waitrose [BrandView.co.uk, 3 May].

Waitrose said it would close the price gap as soon as possible.

The supermarket has also been price matching with Tesco on more than the 1,000 products it had committed to for some time. At the beginning of March, there were 1,535 branded groceries, excluding any on deal, that were price matched with Tesco [BrandView.co.uk, 4 March].

After expanding Brand Price Match this week, there were 3,403 products matched. However, the number of products cheaper at Waitrose fell from 344 in March to 285 on Thursday.