High street chain Wilkinson has launched its first own-label food range under the Wilko brand following an internal review.

An initial 54 lines across the crisps, confectionery and biscuit categories have been introduced in all its 346 stores. Until now Wilkinson has only offered branded snack foods.

“This is certainly not a question of trying to compete with the multiples but we are a variety retailer offering what we know our customers want,” said a spokesman. “Wilko has long offered own-brand products in many sectors, so this is just an extension of the principle.”

The range includes 12 types of biscuits, priced from 52p; 15 types of ‘grown-up’ sweets, including chocolate limes and mint imperials; four varieties of cereal lunchbox bars; 13 types of children’s sweets; and six-packs of crisps. It joins own-label products spanning kitchen appliances, paint and homeware.

The chain, which tops The Grocer’s Top 50 ranking of independent grocery retailers, said there were no current plans to extend its own-label food range.

Wilkinson enjoyed record own-label sales last year with 35.9% of its £640m turnover generated from the 9,500-strong range. It aimed to add 400 lines to its value range, Wilko Everyday Value, by the end of the year, it said.

In July, The Grocer reported Wilkinson’s plans for a major push in Scotland. It now operates seven stores north of the border, which directors Lisa Wilkinson and Karin Swann said marked “the realisation of a long-held ambition for Wilkinson and the start of big plans for north of the border”.