A new budget UK supermarket brand launched by Tesco has pledged to stock its shelves almost exclusively with British produce.

The stores will be named after Tesco founder, Jack Cohen with advertising that boasts that "every drop of milk is British".

Jack’s aims to bring customers great-tasting food at the lowest possible prices, with 8 out of 10 food and drink products grown, reared or made in Britain.

The launch of Jack’s is part of Tesco’s centenary celebrations which will see the business mark 100 years of serving British shoppers.

In addition to its own brand, Jack’s will also stock some familiar grocery brands and a range of general merchandise on a “When it’s gone, it’s gone” basis.

Jack’s will operate a no-frills low-cost business model that is designed to keep costs low and prices down.

Dave Lewis, Tesco Group chief executive, said: “Jack Cohen championed value for customers and changed the face of British shopping. He’s an inspiration for all of us and that same spirit still drives Tesco now.

“It’s fitting that we mark the beginning of Tesco’s celebration of 100 years of great value by launching a new brand, and stores bearing his name: Jack’s. Great tasting food at the lowest possible prices with 8 out of 10 products grown, reared or made in Britain.”

Nationwide roll-out

Over the next six months, Tesco will launch 10-15 Jack’s stores in the UK.

The first two stores will open on 20th September in Chatteris, Cambridgeshire and Immingham, Lincolnshire, on sites which make use of excess Tesco space.

The stores to follow will include a mix of entirely new sites, sites adjacent to existing Tesco stores, and a small number of converted Tesco stores.

Industry response

However, while the news to stock local produce has been welcomed, caution has been aired regarding the low price aspect.

National Farmers' Union (NFU) Scotland president Andrew McCornick said: “It is important that Tesco follow this announcement with vital reassurances to farmers, crofters, growers and other food suppliers that they are committed to sustainable long-term relationships which drive investment and profitability across the supply chain.

“If Jack’s is to be a competitor to Aldi and Lidl then we need to see an equally strong commitment to Scottish produce, across all categories.

“Jack’s is yet another example of retailers driving down the cost of food and drink in our country. While it is vitally important that people across Scotland have access to affordable quality food, it is also important that those who can afford to pay more choose to support premium Scottish products and brands where possible in order to secure future self-sufficiency of food."