Safeway is poised to almost double its premium range, The Best, with 150 new products being introduced by the end of the year.
The range, which was launched last spring and claims to offer “restaurant food at affordable prices”, already boasts more than 200 products including soup, fish, meat, pasta, sauces and desserts.
The supermarket’s chief executive, Carlos Criado-Perez, says the expansion of The Best range is further proof of the company’s commitment to be “best in fresh”.
Safeway will also concentrate on developing its fresh ready-meals range, with particular emphasis on ethnic foods such as Chinese and Indian meals, in the hope of gaining an edge over competitors such as Tesco.
The company is in the process of putting together its first new product development (NPD) team after appointing Judith Batchelar to the newly created post of general manager of NPD two months ago.
Batchelar was previously head of Marks & Spencer’s health and well-being division, where she oversaw the launch of the store’s Count On Us slimmers’ ready-meals range.
Earlier this month, Safeway opened its first new concept superstore at Woking, Surrey. The store, which includes a juice bar, a “Fresh to Go” takeaway food area and a bakery with staff trained by expert French bakers, will act as a blueprint for Safeway’s stores nationwide.
Over the next few months the UK’s fourth-largest supermarket is introducing the concept to 11 sites in and around Edinburgh and then to the rest of the country. It is also opening a hypermarket in Plymouth later this year.