Promo Dynamic – Asda leads in Easter promos against a quieter backdrop

The Grocer

As we hit the final run towards Easter, retailers are being more cautious in their promotional activities than last year.

According to the latest data from promotions experts Assosia, only three of the six biggest grocers – Asda, Sainsbury’s and Waitrose – ran more confectionery promos during the four weeks to 22 March than in the same period last year.

Assosia MD Kay Staniland says this is surprising given the fact Easter was two weeks later last year, so one would be expecting greater activity across the board at this stage.

In terms of specific deals on Easter confectionery, Asda was running considerably more offers than any rival. It had 104 deals covering Easter eggs, mini eggs, bunnies and chicks – more than double that of Waitrose, which had the second highest total with 42. Asda’s more prominent offer was a three-for-£10 promo across Cadbury, Kinnerton eggs, Mars, Nestlé and Thorntons.

Surprisingly, the Co-operative Group, with its convenience focus, had just seven Easter confectionery deals over the period. Tesco appears to have yet get in full swing as far as Easter deals are concerned – it ran just 30 deals compared with 61 in the same period two years ago when Easter fell at the same time – but it was offering eggs with the greatest percentage saving, at almost 40% off.

The Easter weekend could see further changes to promotional plans depending on the weather, Staniland adds. “The major retailers will be constantly monitoring their competitors with the aim of matching or beating their promotions. Flexibility in promotional calendars and offers has always been a factor that both retailers and suppliers have to take into account, but this is increasingly an issue.”

Looking at promotions as a whole, all the big four increased the number of deals during the period compared with the previous four weeks. Sainsbury’s, which had the most deals by far at 2,820 experienced an 18.7% rise in deal volumes.

However, while deals were up month on month and (with the exception of Tesco) year on year, the amount of money being given away was down on average across retailers compared with the previous four weeks.

4 weeks to 22nd March 2015
Number of offers22258042256282022171250
Number last month21798252237237519931314
% change m-o-m2.11%-2.55%0.85%18.74%11.24%-4.87%
Number last year19527992219270922671173
% change on last year13.99%0.63%1.67%4.10%-2.21%6.56%
Average start price (£)£3.50£4.15£4.60£4.61£4.24£6.20
Typical Average £ saving£1.55£1.62£1.78£1.63£1.60£2.20
Typical Average % saving28.88%35.16%34.96%29.75%32.96%33.19%
Average % saving last month30.22%35.45%35.82%30.27%33.55%35.29%
% savings change m-o-m-4.46%-0.82%-2.41%-1.73%-1.76%-5.95%
Average % saving last year27.70%34.64%35.16%31.09%33.18%31.37%
% savings change on last year4.26%1.50%-0.56%-4.32%-0.65%5.79%
Current Brand:own-label ratio88:1271:2988:1280:2080:2088:12
Ratio 1 year ago86:1474:2688:1278:2280:2081:19
Average % saving (branded)30.14%37.64%35.87%30.38%34.93%32.91%
Average % saving (o/l)19.78%29.15%28.21%27.19%25.17%35.23%

Published in The Grocer, 27 March 2015