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The reviews by fellow retailers and members of the investment community may not be raves, but that hasn’t stopped Tesco's Fresh & Easy chain of stores in the US from announcing an expansion of its private label program due to what it called "increasing demand" from customers.

According to a statement released by the company, "Following a great customer response and encouraging sales of Fresh & Easy own-brand food, the company is expanding the range with 250 additional products. Some of the new products include fresh prepared ready meals, new juices and brewed teas, soy and goat yogurt, and a range of ready-to-grill meats.

"One of the new product additions already in stores is the mixed grill pack, which retails for $9.99 and contains four sausages, four beef patties, four chicken thighs and four chicken drumsticks – a little something for everyone.

"In addition to the tried and tested favorites, the new products that will be introduced over the next three months will give customers plenty of new dishes to try. While shoppers are checking out these products they may also notice a few other improvements to Fresh & Easy stores."

The statement also quotes Fresh & Easy CEO Tim Mason: “We developed Fresh & Easy by listening to what consumers wanted in a grocery market. We are delighted customers have responded so well to our own-brand foods. We know our popular ready meals – such as our mango chicken and beef lasagna – give families a great value alternative to take-out, and now there will be plenty more for customers to choose from … We continue to listen to our customers and look for ways to make our shopping trip even better."

KC's View:
It is interesting to read the press release, which says that the company is making improvements to its stores – presumably during the 90-day timeout it currently taking during which it isn’t opening any new units – but none of the actual improvements are actually listed. Instead, the release focuses on the existing and somewhat sterile décor package, which has gotten mixed reviews from most people I know.

At any rate, this doesn’t sound like a company ready to pull out of the US, which is what some folks speculate. Rather, it sounds like a company honing its game. No surprise there – that's what Tesco does.