Tesco: A Century On

by Mar 6, 2019

In January Tesco turned 100 and with it launched a new brand named after its original founder. Emily Eaves delves deeper into the world of ‘Jack’s’.

If you live in a major city, or even a small town, the chances are you’ll have walked or driven past a Tesco today or crossed the road as one of their 2,800 delivery vans makes its rounds to residential and commercial properties. Tesco is a real staple of our high streets and suburbs; from small local stores to giant hypermarket style sites out of town, complete with petrol stations, cafes and anything else you could need.

There’s always been a focus on value with Tesco. From its ‘Every Little Helps’ tag line, the infamous Tesco Clubcard, and the iconic Tesco Value branding, 100 years on the store is still staying true to its roots. The launch of their new brand ‘Jacks’ is inspired by, and named after, the original value champion – the founder of Tesco, Jack Cohen.

Cohen’s story is a fascinating one – he started selling armed forces surplus stock from a market stall in Hackney in 1919, with only £30 demob money to his name. From here, he built up a business, which eventually saw him making food available to families across the country who had previously struggled with standard shop prices.

With a model and style edging towards that of Lidl and Aldi, Jack’s will seek to bring customers ‘great tasting food at the lowest possible prices’. Impressively though, they also aim to provide 8 out of 10 food and drink products to be grown, reared or made in Britain. You’ll have to be quick though as Jack’s will be applying the ‘When it’s Gone it’s Gone’ approach to much of its merchandise.

There’s no question that Jack’s is a no frills, no fuss style shopping experience – although there are nods to specific dietary trends such as a vegan section and various Free From options. Top brands are cheaper here and you can find great deals on named products such as Yeo Valley and Persil. You can scan your way around the shop with your phone – scanning each product’s barcode to save you time at the check outs.

If you’re after value wines there are some relatively good quality medium range wines, although prices don’t go much above £10. Saying that, you could save your money and donate to a local charity at the same time – something that Jack’s have made exceptionally easy to do at all of their stores.

Tesco could happily sit back and enjoy their 100th birthday in a relaxed style, but the creation of Jack’s shows their innovative thinking and their ability to stay true to their roots whilst watching the way that food and drink shopping is currently evolving. Try out a Jack’s near you and let us know what you think!


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About Emily Eaves

Co Founder and Editor at To Work or Play, Emily has been Freelance Copywriting for over 10 years. She is passionate about food, drink, travel, design and finding ways to keep her two children out of trouble.

With a background in Luxury Restaurant and Hotel PR, Emily moved from London to Dorset in 2019. She now spends weekends at the beach and daydreams about her vegetable garden.