Spar Ireland has launched a EUR1m (US$1.4m) promotional drive for its range of own-branded goods.

The initiative, to be extended across Spar’s 475 stores in the country, begins this week and offers consumers access to additional own-brand items, the company said today (2 June).

Some 30 new own-brand products will be on the shelves from next Monday and another 30 will be introduced before the end of the year, which will bring the total of products to over 260. The range covers both ambient and fresh products sourced locally and internationally.

“This initiative is in response to consumer demand,” a spokesperson told just-food. “There has been a significant increase in volumes for own-branded goods and Spar Ireland is responding to this consumer trend by increasing the range of own-brand products available to its shoppers.”

Spar said its own-brand products will retail at a “significantly reduced” price compared to the equivalent branded product.

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The move comes on the back of a significant upturn in sales of own-branded products across the Spar network, the retailer said.

Suzanne Weldon, marketing and communications director for Spar Ireland, said: “The message from our customers is clear. They want more value and that means offering equivalent every-day products at a lower price across our entire range.”

The move follows that of Tesco, Aldi and Lidl, who have each fired their own salvos on price in Ireland in the last month.

In early May, Tesco reopened 11 of its stores in Ireland and slashed prices by as much as 25% in a bid to stem the number of shoppers crossing the border.

Lidl was the first to respond to Tesco’s price cuts with news of its own reductions across its Irish stores, followed by Aldi which announced plans to create over 1,000 jobs in Ireland through the building of a new distribution centre and the opening of 35 more stores.

With consumers trading down, the country’s food retailers increasingly see price as a key weapon to maintain market share.