Tesco’s fictional farm brands. Storytelling or porky pies?

Tesco has been busy developing a range of identities for fictional farms. Is this a good move in light of recent trends for more food transparency? Whilst other supermarket groups give their customers ‘real’ information about the sources of their food – the grower, the farmer, the exact animal and its passport. Tesco is building a fresh food strategy based on farms that don’t exist? And in some cases products promoted under these brand names are imported.

Some specialists in the industry are saying that this is a positive strategic move… Retail consultant Alison Pike said that the new branding was well positioned. “The word ‘farm’ will give a perception of quality and a perception of provenance for the product itself,” she said. Surely not once they find out that the farms don’t even exist? Consumers aren’t stupid. Some of them shop at Farmer’s markets to get the real thing.

Zoe Davies, chief executive of the National Pig Association, added: “It’s misleading quite frankly, we’re not impressed. They’ve labelled the packs with country of origin but all under the same brand name.”

Farmer’s Weekly quotes “Beef from the Republic of Ireland and the UK is being sold under the Boswell Farms brand, while pigmeat products from the UK, Denmark, Holland and Germany are being sold under the Woodside Farms brand.

The origin of some products will also be interchangeable. Farmers Weekly found Rosedene Farms “small sweet apples” from the UK in store, but Tesco’s website states these could also come from Argentina, Belgium, Chile, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa and Spain.”

The other thing I really object to is “Exclusively at Tesco”. This is storytelling gone too far. It’s porky pies!

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