28 February 2000
Asda to undercut organic rivals

By FWi staff

ASDA is introducing a range of own-label organics which the supermarket chain says will be up to 10% cheaper than competitors.

The store, which was last year bought by US retail giant Wal-Mart, insists its new range will complement existing organic ranges such as Yeo Valley and Seed of Change at its 233 stores..

Asda nutritionist Sue Malcolm said: “A basket of organic products can be more than double the price of standard items.

“Were selling these products at a fair price and that means offering the best value around.”

ASDA says the typical shopping basket of organic produce will be 5-10% cheaper than elsewhere.

Fears that this cut-price range could see healthy organic premiums squeezed were played down by organic campaigning and certification body the Soil Association.

A spokeswoman said that most of the produce for the Asda own label scheme would come from imports because British capacity could not meet demand at this stage.

She insisted because the area under cultivation in Britain was so small there was a long way to go before British organic farmers would feel the pinch in any premium squeeze.

The spokeswoman welcomed Asdas announcement saying it reflected the growing demand for organic food and helped make produce available to consumers at all price levels.