Waitrose challenges Asda over new ‘Just Essentials’ range

Waitrose has challenged Asda over the naming of its new ‘Just Essentials by Asda’ value range after the Big 4 grocer announced it was launching a discount grocery range to help ‘keep households running on a budget’.

A report in The Guardian revealed that Waitrose has taken umbrage at the name of Asda’s new £45m discount range, which – with 300 products on offer – is the largest value range in the UK grocery market.

The new range offers 50% more choice than Asda’s current value range – Smart Price – which it will eventually replace.

High-end supermarket Waitrose has sold a range of value products under the Essential Waitrose brand for the last 13 years. It sent a legal letter to Asda challenging the use of the Just Essentials by Asda brand name on Monday, but has not confirmed whether it is considering a legal challenge against Asda.

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“We were surprised to hear that Asda is launching an essentials range as the Essential Waitrose brand has been in use since 2009 and has built up a strong reputation for value, quality and higher welfare standards in that time,” a spokesperson for Waitrose told the paper.

“As we’ve also protected the name as a trade mark, we have raised this with Asda and are awaiting a response.”

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

The new range has been launched as part of an ongoing push by Asda owners the Issa brothers to overtake Sainsbury’s as the UK’s second largest supermarket in the UK, as they seek to focus on the cost-of-living crisis and sell a wider range of low-price products.

Products will arrive in store from May onwards and will be rolled out across the summer.

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