Overwaitea Food Group’s Save-On-Foods banner is now carrying private label products from the U.K. grocery chain Tesco. The products are being promoted as “Affordable British Favourites.”
Overwaitea did not respond to interview requests, but a report from IDG Canada’s program director Stewart Samuel said the nearly 100 products – which include cookies, chips, confectionery, jams and condiments – are largely from Tesco’s standard line of private label products, and also include items from its premium brand, Tesco Finest.
Tesco’s private label products are sold in nearly 30 international markets including North America, South America and Asia. Earlier this year, Finnish operator S-Group began carrying around 200 Tesco products in its Prisma, S-Market and Alepa stores.
Tesco competitor Waitrose also exports its private label products internationally. Last year, it became the first supermarket to sell its own label products through the online store British Corner Shop, which supplies food to British expats in 138 countries including Canada, the U.S. and Germany.
Stewart said the new initiative was a continuation of Overwaitea’s aggressive expansion of its international product assortment, which has largely focused on Asian products but also includes European and Hispanic product ranges.
“For me, it aligns with [Overwaitea’s] strategic goal of having a great international range of products,” said Stewart in an email interview with Canadian Grocer. “Tesco is one of the global leaders in private brand products, and provides Overwaitea [with the opportunity] to introduce a range of high-quality products with a strong British heritage.”
The products are only available at Overwaitea Food Group stores, he said, providing a key point of differentiation in their battle with other supermarket chains.
Samuel predicted the Tesco product range would likely be popular with Save-On-Foods shoppers because of its relative affordability compared to prices for British products in expat-focused stores. Canadian shoppers have a “strong affinity” for British products, he added.
But, Toronto retail analyst Ed Strapagiel said while the products do provide a marketing hook for Overwaitea, Canadian shoppers don’t “have much of a feel” for Tesco and its products.
According to Stewart, Save-On-Foods is promoting the approximately 95 products with exterior banners, floor stickers and dedicated flyers.