Asda and Tesco, two of the UK’s largest supermarket chains, have rebuffed Hovis’ new premium “Best of Both” loaf.
Asda believes the product, which claims to have all the nutritional and health qualities of brown bread (even though it is actually a white loaf), is too expensive.
Tesco says it will not stock Best of Both, because Kingsmill’s version, called Whole White, was launched two weeks earlier and the supermarket has no room on the shelves for both products.
Asda sells Kingsmill White and Wholemeal and the equivalent varieties of the Hovis brand. All four products cost 54p. Best of Both would have cost 58p.
Asda denied it was influencing customer choice. A spokesman says: “We don’t think consumers should have to pay a premium price for this product.” And adds: “We have no plans to sell it in the future.”
Karen Marshall, a spokeswoman for Tesco, says: “We deny there is any dispute between us and the supplier. This is a whole new sector in the market. We are currently taking an alternative product provided by Kingsmill.”
Hovis says it is “disappointed” with Tesco’s and Asda’s decision.