TESCO has abandoned its famous £1bn (€1bn) Value range of goods, in favour of an updated line of products, as it continues its fightback against rivals.
The range of goods will be called Everyday Value and will abandon the stark blue and white stripes in favour of more upmarket, colourful packaging which features 1950s-style line drawings of kitchen equipment and food.
The company insists that the change is more than a rebranding exercise and many of the 550 lines are being substantially improved, either in content or in packaging. The apple sauce, for instance, contains 33pc more apples; the fish fingers now contain 100pc fillets of fish and the cheddar comes in a resealable bag. It also says its mince contains less fat.
Abandoning the Value band, however, is a brave move by Tesco.
Value, launched twenty years ago, came about in response to the early 1990s recession, the aggressive expansion of Kwik Save and the arrival of European cost-cutters, Netto and Aldi.
At the time the selling of basic, purposefully cheap-looking products was dismissed as a potentially brand-damaging move. But Value went on to set the trend across the industry and it allowed Tesco to increase its market share from 15pc to 25pc in the space of a decade. In doing so it stole the prized number one crown from Sainsbury’s and it never looked back.
Value is one of just four supermarket sub-brands that has more than £1bn in sales, and it is understood to be the biggest of all of them. The others are Tesco Finest, Asda Chosen by You and Waitrose Essentials, according to Kantar Worldpanel.
However, over the last 18 months Tesco in the UK has been struggling, with underlying sales falling. It has lost market share to Iceland, Asda, Sainsbury's and many others. It admits its Value range looks tired compared with Waitrose Essentials and Morrisons' M Savers range, which replaced its own cheap-looking Morrisons Value range.
According to Kantar, own-label budget ranges have grown 9.3pc over the last year, but it is understood Tesco's Value range has significantly underperformed this level.
David Wood, Tesco UK Marketing Director said: “Tesco was the first supermarket to launch a Value range back in 1993, the blue-and-white striped brand giving customers a down-to-earth option. Almost 20 years on and an affordable quality range is more relevant than ever, but customer needs have changed.
“We have listened closely to what our customers want and Everyday Value will provide products that taste better, look better and are healthier – still at the same great price.”