Sainsbury emasculates Essentials

Sainsbury’s has slashed the number of products in its price-fighting Essential for the Essentials campaign and relaunched the strategy under the title “Low Price Essentials”.

The chain has cut nearly 200 lines from the campaign, and now only 120 are covered. The in-store marketing of the strategy has been “de-emphasised” and in-store merchandising has been relaunched in yellow and black. The original red-and-gold livery has been dropped.

Sainsbury’s now makes more use of special offers and multibuys. City analysts say that the original Essentials campaign misjudged Sainsbury’s customers, for whom low prices were of limited importance. Sainsbury’s says: “We remain committed to our Essentials low price range which is proving very successful. The number of products within Essentials has changed continuously as we have experimented with the product mix, and taken into account seasonal variations and buying arrangements.”

It is also thought that Sainsbury’s is introducing own-label products at tertiary prices, in yogurt and pet food. The chain denies it would launch a range similar to Tesco’s Value Lines.

Somerfield launches its own value range next week, called “Basics”, featuring 101 low-priced food and non-food products. The launch aims to attract “one-stop” customers. A ú1m television ad campaign breaks on Monday to support the range, with creative work by Butler Lutos Sutton Wilkinson.

Latest from Marketing Week


Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and opinion that will help you do your job better.

Register and receive the best content from the only UK title 100% dedicated to serving marketers' needs.

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work. The more we know about our visitors, the better and more relevant content we can provide for them. And, yes, knowing our audience better helps us find commercial partners too. Don't worry, we won't share your information with other parties, unless you give us permission to do so.

Register now


Our award winning editorial team (PPA Digital Brand of the Year) ask the big questions about the biggest issues on everything from strategy through to execution to help you navigate the fast moving modern marketing landscape.


From the opportunities and challenges of emerging technology to the need for greater effectiveness, from the challenge of measurement to building a marketing team fit for the future, we are your guide.


Information, inspiration and advice from the marketing world and beyond that will help you develop as a marketer and as a leader.

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3703 or email

If you are looking for our Jobs site, please click here