Blog: Dean BestWaitrose takes leaf out of Asda's book

Dean Best | 27 September 2010

For all the talk of "premiumisation" returning in the UK grocery sector, it remains a competitive battleground out there.

Some saw last week's private-label launches and relaunches by Asda, Sainsbury's and Ocado has evidence that UK food retailers wanted to emphasise quality over price in the marketing of their own-label ranges.

The argument does hold some weight but UK consumer confidence remains fragile and any doom and gloom over the economy will be exacerbated next month when Chancellor George Osborne sets out precisely where the coalition government will look to cut spending and pay down the budget deficit.

Against that backdrop, price will remain a key lever for UK grocers - and that seemingly does not matter whether you are Waitrose or Asda.

For Waitrose has taken a leaf out of Asda's book with a marketing campaign that seeks to take on Tesco on price. Today (27 September), Waitrose said it would match the prices on 1,000 branded products sold by its stores and by Tesco.

For all its upmarket credentials, Waitrose has proved adept at navigating the downturn (the success of its cut-price, own-label Essentials range a case in point) and the price-match campaign is its latest tactic.

Waitrose may use the likes of Delia and Heston to sell us dinner-party recipes using ingredients like Chardonnay wine vinegar but promotions remain a key ingredient in MD Mark Price's repetoire.


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