top of page

ASDA’s Revamped Value Range Will Shock You

Greg Devine


ASDA in Woodchurch

The cost-of-living crisis has well and truly got the UK in its grip. Energy bills are already ridiculous and set to increase further; petrol is still around £1.70 a litre, despite a slight drop in the price of oil, and grocery shopping is more expensive than ever.

ASDA appears to have understood the struggle a lot of British families are going through, however, resulting in its new value range, dubbed Just Essentials.

According to ASDA’s website, there are 181 products in the Just Essentials range, with the most expensive item coming in at £11.23. That might sound a lot, but it’s the price of a beef roasting joint that’s supposed to serve 8-10 people. The second most expensive item in the range is £4.20 for 400g of boneless salmon—this works out at £10.49 per kg. Tesco’s closest offering is 260g of boneless salmon costing £4.09; this comes to £15.74 per kg.

Salmon and huge joints of meat are not typically ‘essential items’ for most people, they’re more of a treat. However, what could be more essential than toilet roll? After all, it seems to be the first thing people panic buy. ASDA’s Just Essentials toilet roll costs £1.90 for 6. Tesco’s cheapest is only 3p more expensive; however, it’s not as good quality as ASDA’s, according to various reviews.

It was inevitable that I’d mention the Just Essentials packaging, given the various headlines it’s spawned. It’s bright yellow. There have been complaints about this simple but distinctive design that some people claim singles out the poorest families, who will likely have more of these products in their baskets.

My take is this: have you ever really cared about what the person in front of you is buying when you’re doing your shopping? I’m normally just thinking, ‘Hurry up!’ I couldn’t care less what they’ve got in their basket.

No Name brand Canada

No Name brand Canada

ASDA’s range could be a nod to Canadian brand No Name. This is also a low-cost brand with distinctive yellow packaging that bears only the description of the item alongside a small image. No Name’s packaging is normally lauded, yet ASDA’s has attracted criticism—probably because some Brits will moan about anything.

Almost everything you could possibly need is covered by the Just Essentials range, including various types of fruit. Other retailers’ value brands often fail to feature fruit, which is what I like about ASDA’s new range, i.e. how easy it is to still eat healthy food. The cheapest available is a portion of pears for 45p. A single, loose pear will cost you 51p at Tesco. Four lemons at ASDA will cost 50p; at Tesco, you’ll pay 30p per lemon, or £1.35 for a four- pack. And what about veg? A 240g bag of green beans will set you back 84p at ASDA. Tesco is technically cheaper with their offering, as their 220g of Redmere Farms Green Beans will only cost 77p; however, this item is price-matched to meet Aldi’s charge, and it may not stay at this price for too long.

Even exotic fruits are available in the Just Essentials range, such as a pack of oranges for 60p, four avocados for £1.25, and six kiwis for 88p. I eat a lot of fruit, simply because I enjoy it so much; having all these options available really sells the idea of shopping there. I previously wouldn’t have entertained ASDA for my big shop as I’ve always considered it quite expensive for what are predominantly poor quality items, yet this new range has changed my opinion. Now, ASDA can arguably compete with Aldi and Lidl, and give plenty of people reason to shop at their stores.

Milk splashing into a cup/mug

Milk splashing into a cup/mug

The only thing not covered by ASDA’s new yellow-branded saviour to your budget appears to be milk. You’ll have to buy ASDA’s normal brand, where two pints will set you back £1.15. This is the same as Tesco and Aldi’s prices, so you can’t complain. What is amazing to see is that the Just Essentials range includes milk alternatives, such as soya. One litre of its soya drink costs 55p against Tesco’s own brand that’s £1; however, the latter’s value brand also offers a soya drink for 55p, which is supposedly price-matched to Aldi, too. Two litres of lemonade from ASDA comes in at just 26p; Tesco’s costs 45p and Aldi’s is 3p cheaper at 23p.

You’ll also find some cleaning supplies included in the Just Essentials range. Toilet cleaner is 15p cheaper than Tesco’s alternative at 30p. You can even buy a two-litre bottle of bleach for 42p—a Tesco alternative doesn’t even exist. Apart from milk, everything seems to be included in ASDA’s new, striking yellow range: bread, meat, fruit, veg, drinks, cleaning supplies, kitchen and toilet roll, microwave/ready meals…the list goes on. I’ll certainly be trying ASDA out for my next big shop. Maybe you should, too.

Want your article or story on our site? Contact us here

bottom of page