Supermarkets bringing budget Christmas but does home brand quality stack up?

by Super User
The major supermarkets have launched new high-quality home-brand ranges of Christmas goodies they hope will lure shoppers away from the premium items. Coles's Christmas range has been in development for 10 months and has almost doubled in size since last year, including fresh produce, seafood and baked goods. Celebrity chef Curtis Stone said the chain's prawns were sourced from the Pacific Reef farm in northern Queensland."I'm cooking them fresh on a grill but we also sell them pre-cooked so you can serve them with dips and salads and all sorts of stuff as well," he said. Woolworths is offering three different tiers of home brand goods - red label for entry-level products, green packaging for the middle tier, and a gold strip for premium. "At the top we have our gold range which is those beautiful indulgent cakes and puddings that everybody loves," he said. Aldi is aiming to be 25 percent cheaper on a basket of groceries than its competitors, which it achieves by selling almost solely private label products.However Hunter Heritage Gourmet Foods managing director Peter Watson, whose family business has supplied Aldi with Christmas puddings for the past four years, said this didn't mean the quality was lower. "Their recipe is unique, it is different to the product we sell to everyone else in the market," he said. "(But) it's the same process that we use for everything that we do, it's a hand-made product using premium ingredients."Retail expert Dr Gary Mortimer said IGA was following in Aldi's footsteps with their new Community Co range. IGA launched the private label in December 2016 with just a few products, but by next month the range will have swelled to over 100. "It's a very smart way that supermarkets are getting their products on to the table and into your kitchen," he said.He said all supermarkets were eager to cater to shoppers' needs to impress around the Christmas table. "These products are much, much higher in quality," he said.

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