Asda Fights Back after Boss Slams Standard of Food

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Byline: Rupert Steiner and Sean Poulter

ASDA has spent [pounds sterling]100m revamping its food ranges just weeks after new boss Andy Clarke admitted the quality and taste on offer was not good enough.

The embattled grocer unveiled a dramatic fight back yesterday after lagging behind all of its major rivals in sales growth over the summer.

Executives admitted yesterday that some customers were 'confused' over Asda's midrange food offerings, which generate between [pounds sterling]8bn and [pounds sterling]9bn in annual sales and occupies the bulk of its shelves.

In what some may consider another Gerald Ratner moment, chief executive Clarke revealed: 'It's the most important range but actually has been quite invisible and unloved to some degree.'

His marketing colleague Simon Eyles went further saying: 'We had some hard truths we needed to face.'

While customers understood what the Value and Extra Special ranges delivered, 'it was in the mid-tier that shoppers had the most confusion', said Eyles.

'Customers felt quite blank about it,' he said, adding: 'They didn't even realise they were putting it in their basket. There is a huge opportunity with this invisible brand.'

Asda has spent nine months on the relaunch, drafting in 40,000 consumers to take part in around 200,000 blind taste tests up and down the country.

Around 3,500 products, from bread and soup, to bistro pies and ice cream, have all been re-launched as part of a desperate attempt by Asda to reverse its gloomy run. …