Sainsbury’s overhauls Basics range

Sainsbury’s is overhauling its own-brand Basics range, revamping the packaging and adding new products in a bid to turn around a recently faltering performance.

The revamped packaging retains the same orange and white colour scheme but adds larger blocks of colour and new product straplines to certain goods to ensure they are “informative and fun”. Bakery, health and beauty and cooked meat products are among the first to get the changes.

Sainsbury’s is doing a PR push online to promote the update, targeting mums on sites such as Netmums.

Own-brand ranges helped boost Sainsbury’s results for the half-year. The supermarket claims that own-brand sales are growing at twice the rate of branded goods, with its premium “Taste the Difference” range growing at a double-digital pace and reaching £1bn in annual sales.

However, Sainsbury’s says Basics experienced a “marginal sales decline” in the 28 weeks to 28 September. The range is facing growing competition from discounters such as Aldi and Lidl, which are competing with the big four over price.

Sainsbury’s is also embroiled in a battle with Tesco over its “Price Promise” price-matching service, which compares own brand products, unlike Sainsbury’s “Brand Match” scheme. It has launched press ads to highlight the “values” behind its own-brand products and is seeking a judicial review of the advertising regulator’s decision to reject its complaint about ads for Tesco’s Price Promise.

This is the third of Sainsbury’s own-brand range to get a revamp. It relaunched its premium Taste the Difference range in 2010 to tap into the growth of premium products and announced plans to rebrand its core own-label products under a “by Sainsbury’s” banner the following year.

Rivals have also been overhauling their own-brand ranges, with Tesco relaunching its premium “Finest” line last month and its “Everyday Value” range early last year.

Sainsbury’s is the only big-four supermarket chain not to lose market share over the past year. According to figures from Kantar Worldpanel, it achieved sales growth of 4.9 per cent for the 12 weeks ending 18 August, giving it 16.5 per cent of the grocery market.

The firm’s pre-tax profit grew 7 per cent in the 28 weeks to 28 September to £400m, up from £374m a year earlier. Sales from stores open for a year or more, excluding receipts from petrol and VAT, increased 1.4 per cent.

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