When ‘value’ means sub-standard


I welcome the ‘canning’ of Tesco’s Value brand. Not just because of the uninspiring, verging on the ‘let’s not think too hard about this’ blue and white stripe brand identity, but because the brand encapsulated the unspoken truth that value really meant poorer quality.

Of course the hard economic facts state that better quality ingredients and packaging will inevitably push up production costs which are usually passed onto the customer. The retailer needs to protect their profit of course!

I’m pleased to see that this major multiple has acknowledged that it can retail affordable food at low (er) cost that doesn’t need to contain so many harmful ingredients.

Apparently the new budget or value meals will have the combined ‘nasties’ of MSG, hydrogenated fats, artificial flavours, colours, and genetically modified ingredients removed, leaving cleaner food that should not potentially hasten a range of debilitating medical conditions in consumers.

Retailers follow customers drum beat for 'cleaner' food

The real advance would be for the retailers to promote unusual, fresh and healthy ingredients as the real alternative to highly processed ready meals. A big vat of cottage pie, spaghetti bolognese or chicken casserole with winter vegetables cooked and later frozen, can actually work out cheaper per head than purchasing ready-made options. Try it. The freezer portions will become your ready-meals!

It’s encouraging although I’m sure there are sound economic reasons for deleting the Tesco value brand: falling sales? Even the most reluctant cook can rustle up something nutritious from a selection of basic ingredients.

This is where the real ‘value’ lies for all of us.

Happy and healthy eating 😉

© Suzy Rigg

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