Packaging Agency Tesco packaging strategic brand design agency coley porter bell

From ‘own label’ to ‘own brand’. It’s about showing you care.

Tesco ‘own label’ had a quality issue. The problem wasn’t the food, which always performed well in blind taste tests, the issue was the brand.

As part of new CEO Dave Lewis’ ambitious turnaround plan, Tesco took the decision to revamp and relaunch their own label food offer. Comprising three tiers – Finest*, Core and Value; core was by far the largest, at over 9 000 SKU’s and accounting for 82% of all own label food purchases. And this wasn’t just a housekeeping exercise, as the project had ambitious targets seeking increases in awareness, consideration and preference, as well as an overall 2% increase in share growth.

People thought Tesco Core ‘own label’ was mass produced, machine manufactured and inferior quality. On top of that, customers were complaining they couldn’t find things in store, because there was no system and everything looked different.

We set out to solve both problems by putting care at the heart of the brand, and doing it systematically. We researched Tesco’s suppliers – farmers, growers, bakers, chefs and brought to life their passion for the food they supply. Many are family businesses with long associations with Tesco.

We then created a design system inspired by the care they take. We created a ‘care story’ for every product and made it central to the pack. We developed a tone of voice to excite shoppers and delight their senses, and imagery to evoke the food’s provenance and the human touch. We designed different colour palettes for every range, making them attractive and simple to find. And we created a new style of photography that celebrated food in all its imperfect, delicious glory so it stood out on shelf, looking fresh and real.

The new packaging was rolled out in 2018 across all Tesco stores in the UK, Asia and Central Europe. It was the largest retail packaging rebrand ever done in the UK, involving more than 300 sub-categories and over 9,000 individual products.

Strategy and Positioning

Portfolio Architecture


Packaging Design

Brand Guidelines

Brand Guardianship

Tesco packaging agency Coley Porter Bell
Tesco packaging agency Coley Porter Bell