Waitrose is launching a campaign to showcase its lower cost Essential range for the first time, just one month after Asda unveiled its similarly named Just Essentials brand. But the supermarket says its decision to push the value range now is not related to the imminent launch of its rival’s budget range.
Through the ‘Quality you’d expect at prices you wouldn’t’ campaign, Waitrose says it aims to highlight its “commitment” to value, while also pointing to the provenance of some of the range’s key products, including outdoor bred pork, free range milk and responsibly sourced fish fingers.
Waitrose customer director Martin George describes the campaign as a “ground-breaking first” for the supermarket, which is particularly important as the cost of living crisis worsens.
“As customers look for ways to make their money go further, it’s the right time to promote the unmatched quality and value of our Essential range, which offers over 1,000 great products,” he says.
We know that household budgets are being squeezed by an increasing cost of living and we are committed to doing everything we can to support our customers.
Mohsin Issa, Asda
Waitrose sent a legal letter to Asda on 28 March shortly after it unveiled the plan for its Just Essentials range. At the time, a spokesperson for Waitrose said it was “surprised” Asda was launching a low cost range with a similar name, claiming its own Essential brand has built up a “strong reputation for value, quality and higher welfare standards” since launch. The supermarket also noted its range is “protected” by trademark.Asda faces clash with Waitrose as it launches ‘Just Essentials’ range
Created by adam&eveDDB and bought by MG OMD, the first campaign for Essential Waitrose – which the supermarket says it has been planning for some time – will run across out of home, print, digital display and radio until the end of May. It will also appear on London’s Piccadilly Lights until 2 May.
George says the “iconic” location was chosen as it reaches an audience of more than one million people each week, “so we know it’s an effective way to amplify this campaign”.
Asda will be launching its Just Essentials value range next month and has today also confirmed it is investing £73m to help ease cost of living concerns for customers and staff.
The new budget range will comprise more than 300 products and replace its existing Smart Price brand.
The supermarket says it has also “dropped and locked” the price of more than 100 products until the end of the year. This includes fresh fruit and vegetables, fresh meat, store cupboard essentials like rice and noodles, as well as soft drinks, desserts and frozen products.
As customers look for ways to make their money go further, it’s the right time to promote the unmatched quality and value of our Essential range.
Martin George, Waitrose
Prices will be reduced by an average of 12%, with the cost of a 500g bag of Asda easy cook rice dropping by 25% from £1 to 75p, and a tin of John West tuna being reduced by 14% from £3.50 to £3.
The supermarket has also said it will be increasing the hourly wage for shop floor staff to £10.10 from July, meaning they will be paid 60p on top of the National Living Wage. Asda staff will also be entitled to a 10% colleague discount in-stores and online, and an additional supplement for employees in London.‘Strong brands always win’: Why marketing investment is crucial to survive inflation
Mohsin Issa, co-owner of Asda says: “We know that household budgets are being squeezed by an increasing cost of living and we are committed to doing everything we can to support our customers, colleagues and communities in these exceptionally tough times.”
Meanwhile, Morrisons has also confirmed it will be cutting prices on more than 500 products today, with an average saving of 13% across key items including eggs, baked beans and rice, as well as things like nappies and coffee.
The supermarket says it has cut the price of a quarter of its 235 entry-level products, including within its Savers and Wonky food ranges, as well as prices on homeware and health and beauty lines.
As part of the drive, Morrisons has also introduced new multi-save promotions, including buy two for £1.80 on cereals, buy two for £3 on breaded chicken and buy two for £5 on ready meals.
It will also be highlighting how consumers can save money by switching from a branded product to Morrisons’ own-label items. The ‘Compare & Save’ campaign is now live in-store. It will also be communicating price cuts via TV and print advertising, as well online and in-store.