Monday, September 15, 2008


Here in Andover we must be the most supermarketed market town in, oh, miles and miles.

Within a short car ride we have a Tesco superstore, a new Asda superstore, two large Sainsbury stores, a Lidl (not, of course, that we know too much about that one, even in these benighted times), a town-centre Waitrose and a new Tesco Metro facing off the old Co-Op across the road. It leads to conversations like this one (after a trip to Asda today).

"I thought you had given up on Scotch eggs?"

"No, just Tesco's. This is an Asda free-range Scotch egg. The meat is bound to be better quality."

So here is the reasoning. On the Asda shelf there were Scotch eggs, and free-range Scotch eggs. The average supermarket Scotch egg has a deservedly poor, downmarket reputation because of the shoddy plastic packaging partially obscuring the poor-quality, gristle-filled meat and indifferent eggs.

However, if Asda was making a brand differentiation with an up-market egg concept - 'free range' - for which it was charging more, then it would be unlikely to compromise said brand positioning by backsliding on the sausage meat.

And so it proved.