Tesco has added fuel to the supermarket price war after launching a range of entry level own-label brands that will challenge the discounters on price.
The retailer's share climbed by more than one per cent this morning after it said it will sell around 80 fresh, meat and poultry products under seven new "Farms" brands which, in many cases, will either match or be cheaper than its rivals.
The price of 500g of its new Boswell Farms-branded beef mince, for example, is £1.69, the same price as Aldi's Ashfield Farm beef mince and compared with £2 for Morrisons' own-branded mince.
The other brands range from Redmere Farms for vegetables and Suntrail Farms for imported Fruit to Woodside and Willow Farms for pork and chicken.
A Tesco spokesperson: “Over the last 18 months we have been simplifying our ranges, launched Brand Guarantee and improved customer service. However, we know customers want the convenience of getting all their shopping in one place. These seven new brands, which are exclusive to Tesco, address our customers’ needs for quality fresh food, at very competitive prices in a single shop.”
Tesco's shares have risen by more than a third since the start of the year on the back of increasing confidence in its turnaround plan and on signs that sales have stabilised. Recent Kantar data showed that the rate of its sales decline slowed to 0.8 per cent over the last 12 weeks as shoppers returned to its stores.
HSBC retail analyst David Mccarthy said the launch was a sign of "growing confidence" and should not be under estimated: "Farm Brands and Tesco's ongoing stealth pricing should put the discounters (who are suffering slowing growth) under more pressure."