Sainsbury Expands Premium Own-Label Line After Asda Overhaul

J Sainsbury Plc, the U.K.’s third- largest supermarket owner, said it expanded its premium range of own-label products, seeking to lure shoppers after larger rival Asda yesterday reintroduced some of its own-label goods.

It’s the biggest investment the retailer has made in its own-brand products, Commercial Director Mike Coupe said in a statement today. London-based Sainsbury didn’t disclose the cost of the re-launch. Asda, owned by Wal-Mart Stores Inc., said it invested 100 million pounds ($157 million) to reintroduce its own mid-market range in an effort to stem a market-share decline.

More than 300 products have been added to Sainsbury’s “Taste the Difference” line, bringing the total to 1,141 items, and 400 have been “reformulated,” a spokesman said. Most Sainsbury shoppers buy its own-label products.

Sainsbury said items such as its new Bistro range of ready meals will target customers who are eating out less. The grocer’s market share has been steadily climbing for more than a year, with Kantar Worldpanel recording an increase to 16 percent in the 12 weeks through Sept. 5 from 15.8 percent a year earlier.

Celebrity chef Jamie Oliver will be featured in an advertising campaign to promote the “Taste the Difference” line, the grocer said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Sarah Shannon in London at sshannon4@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Keith Campbell at k.campbell@bloomberg.net.

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