Retail: What's red, blue, white and all over?

After 19 years, Tesco has canned its 'Value' range. But will the design of its replacement help revive the store's fortunes the way it did in 1993? Tim Walker asks the experts

Tesco first introduced its famous "Value" range 19 years ago, as part of a drive led by its then marketing director, Terry Leahy, to boost market share in the recession of the early 1990s. Among the supermarket's other bright ideas were a loyalty card, a "one-in-front" queue-reduction policy and smaller Metro and Express locations alongside its out-of-town superstores.

With help of £1bn yearly sales of Value products, Leahy led Tesco to a 30 per cent market share, putting it well ahead of its nearest rivals. Since dubbed Sir Terry, he stepped down as chief executive last year and now the firm has decided to discontinue his bold, blue-and-white-striped packaging in favour of a new range, christened "Everyday Value". Rodney Fitch, retail design expert and founder of the Fitch design company, says: "It's always been the most innovative of the supermarkets and it innovated the idea of 'value' at the grocer. The country was a different place 20 years ago, though, and people's perception of value – what they value about 'value' – has changed. Price is still a major component, but value is now a multi-faceted idea."

Everyday Value's uniform white packaging is adorned with understated, product-specific coloured type and mini illustrations of food and kitchen equipment. Tesco says its emphasis has shifted from price (though prices remain as low) to health and quality. Thus the 550 Everyday Value product lines are free of artificial colours, GM and MSG. There's 10 per cent more fruit juice in the orange squash, 100 per cent fish fillet in the fish fingers, reduced fat in the mince and "a better grade of pea". The improved packaging includes resealable bags of grated cheese and "easy-open" biscuit packets.

Tesco's UK market share has dipped below 30 per cent since Leahy's departure and Tesco Value has underperformed compared with budget lines at other supermarkets, hence the shake-up.

But not everyone is convinced by the new design. "I don't think the packaging expresses the brand proposition," Fitch says. "It lacks emotional content and the vibrancy of the old packaging. If you're in a 50,000sq-ft store, it's essential these products stand out. But this packaging hasn't the 'shelf-appeal' or the consistency to give it a single message across those 550 product lines or 50,000sq-ft. It's too understated." Angela Wright, colour psychologist and founder of a consultancy that has advised major retailers, says orange is the colour of "food, warmth, shelter and abundance", an ideal choice for the Sainsbury's "Basics" range. Asda's green "is like green in the landscape: it indicates the presence of water and means you're not going to starve."

Traditionally, red is the colour of discounts, which would explain the Kwik Save and Iceland liveries. But Wright is underwhelmed by Everyday Value. "Blue and white stripes were to the point," she says. "Blue communicates reliability, trustworthiness, clarity. But these colours are all over the place; there's no recognisable message. Customers learn a colour strategy and what it means, and they become quite discombobulated if it changes."

News
A cleaner prepares the red carpet for the opening night during the 59th International Cannes Film Festival May 17, 2006 in Cannes, France.
newsPowerful vacuum cleaners to be banned under EU regulations
Arts and Entertainment
Loaded weapon: drugs have surprise side effects for Scarlett Johansson in Luc Besson’s ‘Lucy’
filmReview: Lucy, Luc Besson's complex thriller
News
people
Arts and Entertainment
Jeremy Clarkson has rejected criticisms of his language, according to BBC director of television Danny Cohen
tv
PROMOTED VIDEO
News
A polar bear’s diet is rich in seal blubber and half of its own body weight is composed of fat
i100
Life and Style
fashion David Beckham fronts adverts for his underwear collection
Travel
Flocking round: Beyoncé, Madame Tussauds' latest waxwork, looking fierce in the park
travelIn a digital age when we have more access than ever to the stars, why are waxworks still pulling in crowds?
News
ebooksAn evocation of the conflict through the eyes of those who lived through it
Extras
indybest
Arts and Entertainment
Judi Dench appeared at the Hay Festival to perform excerpts from Shakespearean plays
tvJudi Dench and Hugh Bonneville join Benedict Cumberbatch in BBC Shakespeare adaptations
Arts and Entertainment
tv
Sport
Is this how Mario Balotelli will cruise into Liverpool?
football
News
Ronahi Serhat, a PKK fighter, in the Qandil Mountains in Iraqi Kurdistan
i100
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Service Desk Analyst (Graduate, Helpdesk, Desktop, Surrey)

Negotiable: Harrington Starr: Service Desk Analyst (Graduate, Helpdesk, Deskto...

Service Desk Analyst (Graduate, Helpdesk, Desktop, Surrey)

Negotiable: Harrington Starr: Service Desk Analyst (Graduate, Helpdesk, Deskto...

Junior Quant Analyst - C++, Boost, Data Mining

£25000 - £35000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Junior Quant Analyst - C++, Boost...

Service Desk Analyst- (Desktop Support, Help desk)

£25000 - £35000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Service Desk Analyst- (Desktop Su...

Day In a Page

Air strikes? Talk of God? Obama is following the jihadists’ script

Air strikes? Talk of God? Obama is following the jihadists’ script

The President came the nearest he has come yet to rivalling George W Bush’s gormless reaction to 9/11 , says Robert Fisk
Ebola outbreak: Billy Graham’s son declares righteous war on the virus

Billy Graham’s son declares righteous war on Ebola

A Christian charity’s efforts to save missionaries trapped in Africa by the crisis have been justifiably praised. But doubts remain about its evangelical motives
Jeremy Clarkson 'does not see a problem' with his racist language on Top Gear, says BBC

Not even Jeremy Clarkson is bigger than the BBC, says TV boss

Corporation’s head of television confirms ‘Top Gear’ host was warned about racist language
Nick Clegg the movie: Channel 4 to air Coalition drama showing Lib Dem leader's rise

Nick Clegg the movie

Channel 4 to air Coalition drama showing Lib Dem leader's rise
Philip Larkin: Misogynist, racist, miserable? Or caring, playful man who lived for others?

Philip Larkin: What will survive of him?

Larkin's reputation has taken a knocking. But a new book by James Booth argues that the poet was affectionate, witty, entertaining and kind, as hitherto unseen letters, sketches and 'selfies' reveal
Madame Tussauds has shown off its Beyoncé waxwork in Regent's Park - but why is the tourist attraction still pulling in the crowds?

Waxing lyrical

Madame Tussauds has shown off its Beyoncé waxwork in Regent's Park - but why is the tourist attraction still pulling in the crowds?
Texas forensic astronomer finally pinpoints the exact birth of impressionism

Revealed (to the minute)

The precise time when impressionism was born
From slow-roasted to sugar-cured: how to make the most of the British tomato season

Make the most of British tomatoes

The British crop is at its tastiest and most abundant. Sudi Pigott shares her favourite recipes
10 best men's skincare products

Face it: 10 best men's skincare products

Oscar Quine cleanses, tones and moisturises to find skin-savers blokes will be proud to display on the bathroom shelf
Malky Mackay allegations: Malky Mackay, Iain Moody and another grim day for English football

Mackay, Moody and another grim day for English football

The latest shocking claims do nothing to dispel the image that some in the game on these shores exist in a time warp, laments Sam Wallace
La Liga analysis: Will Barcelona's hopes go out of the window?

Will Barcelona's hopes go out of the window?

Pete Jenson starts his preview of the Spanish season, which begins on Saturday, by explaining how Fifa’s transfer ban will affect the Catalans
Middle East crisis: We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

Now Obama has seen the next US reporter to be threatened with beheading, will he blink, asks Robert Fisk
Neanderthals lived alongside humans for centuries, latest study shows

Final resting place of our Neanderthal neighbours revealed

Bones dated to 40,000 years ago show species may have died out in Belgium species co-existed
Scottish independence: The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

Scotland’s immigrants are as passionate about the future of their adopted nation as anyone else
Britain's ugliest buildings: Which monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?

Blight club: Britain's ugliest buildings

Following the architect Cameron Sinclair's introduction of the Dead Prize, an award for ugly buildings, John Rentoul reflects on some of the biggest blots on the UK landscape