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Asda to launch budget ‘Just Essentials’ product range

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Asda will axe its current Smart Price range as it rolls out ‘Just Essentials’ this summer – claiming to offer “the largest value range in the market”.

The supermarket’s ‘Just Essentials by Asda’ range will include 300 products, 50% more than the current Smart Price items it will replace.

The products across fresh meat, fish, poultry, bakery, frozen, cupboard staples as well as household and toiletry items, will be available in store from May onwards.

Asda said it will stock the full range in all 581 food stores, as well as online, and will continue to sell Smart Price products until these are replaced by Just Essentials.

A spokesperson added that all the items under the Smart Price range will remain at the same price point when they move over to ‘Just Essentials’ while the extra 100 products as part of the new range will mean “a comparable basket will be cheaper than at Aldi or Tesco”.

The move comes as Asda said it wanted to keep households running on a budget and to help millions of families fight rising living costs.

Just last month, Asda made a cheap food promise to make its cheapest food range more widely available after comments made about price inflation by a poverty campaigner and food blogger.

Jack Monroe highlighted that several supermarkets had removed or reduced their cheapest food ranges, or were selling smaller quantities for higher prices. Monroe found that the Smart Price pasta had risen from 29p for 500g to 70p – a 141% price rise.

Mohsin Issa, Asda’s co-owner, said: “We understand that customers are increasingly worried about the cost of living and want help to keep their grocery bills in check, whilst still being able to buy healthy and nutritious food for their families. Our new ‘Just Essentials’ range has been specifically designed with this in mind, combining our lowest prices with a much larger and more diverse range of great value products to meet all household needs.”

Meanwhile, Waitrose has taken aim at Asda’s use of ‘essentials’ in its budget range, as it submitted a legal letter to the chain claiming the branding is too similar to its ‘Essential Waitrose’ products.

An Asda spokesperson, said: “The word ‘essentials’ is a generic and commonly used term by retailers to describe their value product ranges.”

Asda’s 2021 results revealed like-for-like sales increased by 0.6% while operating profit grew 42% to £693.1m “predominantly due to a reduction in Covid-related costs”.

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