A few months ago, Woolworths decided to replace its entry-level Homebrand range with the similar “Woolworths Essentials” in a bid to address consumer perceptions of low quality. Now, it’s giving the same treatment to the mid-tier Select label. The only reason to care about this is that Woolworths’ private label products will soon be cheaper.
In the latest big change to its labeling strategy, Woolworths is killing off the Select sub-brand which originally debuted in 2005. In its place, Select products will soon carry a straightforward “Woolworths” label. The change will affect more than 1000 products.
According to SMH, this decision was made due to Select’s inability to compete on price and quality with private label products at rival supermarket chains Aldi and Coles. (According to Woolworth’s own research, consumers perceive the quality of Aldi’s private label brands to be “on par or better” than Select.)
From the customer side, the main change will be a swap to food products only. The newly christened range will also be cheaper, with Woolworths indicating it will be “more competitive” than Select. The existing Select range will be gradually phased out, with most products discontinued or re-branded by next financial year.
Personally, we’ve never really understood the grocery giants’ obsession with sub-branding. Usually, the ingredients, price and packaging material are more than enough to let you know what “tier” a home brand product belongs to. All this additional labeling isn’t really necessary.