Waitrose has announced plans to extend its Essential Waitrose own-label range with an investment of GBP1bn (US$1.5bn) in 2013.

The UK retailer revealed today (4 March) products will be launched across existing categories as well as in new areas, such as non-food.

A spokesperson for the group told just-food that 400 new products will be launched as part of the initiative, with a further 300 products to be “improved” during the year. The entry-level Essential Waitrose line is made up of 1,800 products in various categories – from everyday grocery items to homeware.

Waitrose hopes the move will further enhance its value credentials. The upmarket retailer recently launched a Brand Price Match promotion, that promised to meet Tesco‘s price on branded products, excluding promotions.

The spokesperson declined to provide further detail on what new products are in the pipeline, insisting that this was “commercially sensitive” information.