Tesco coupon scheme 'should be clearer on own-brand comparisons'

Tesco's latest salvo in the supermarket price war should focus more on comparisons over the quality of own-label products, according to Surname & Surname's Kev O'Sullivan.

Tesco: price battle
Tesco: price battle

Tesco today launched the UK’s ‘first’ automatic price comparison coupon, covering both branded, own-label and fresh food products. It reimburses consumers the difference if their shopping basket would have proved cheaper at one of the other big four supermarkets – Asda, Sainbury's and Morrisons – up to the value of £10.

O’Sullivan, co-founder of Blue Rubicon’s consumer agency Surname & Surname, said the new Price Promise scheme from Tesco was a ‘smart move’, but the like-for-like aspect needed to be fully explained.

He said: ‘This strategy worked well for Sainsbury’s last year when they introduced the brand match for products from companies such as Unilever, P&G and Coca-Cola.'

A senior Tesco spokesperson said the Price Promise scheme was designed to give consumers ‘extra confidence’ that they are not losing out on price.

However, own-label products are difficult to compare across supermarkets because the ‘sourcing, manufacturing and sizing of products will be different store-by-store’, O’Sullivan said.

He added: ‘I don’t understand how own-label ketchup in Tesco is the same as own-label ketchup in Sainsbury’s: Tesco needs to communicate how they compare own-label products clearly in order for this to work.’

The scheme has been running online for two years and was first trialled in supermarkets last October in Northern Ireland. Tesco said it launched Price Promise nationwide following the positive reaction from customers.

In January Tesco’s group media relations director Tom Curry left his position to become vice-president of global comms at InterContinental Hotels Group. His position has been filled by head of corporate media Tom Hoskin.

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