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Promo Dynamic – Assosia assesses cheese market promotional activity

The Grocer

All of the 10 most-promoted cheese brands (including own label) have increased their use of featured space deals in the past year, with the combined total of such promotions in the big four, Waitrose and The Co-operative hitting 1,914. That’s a 37.1% hike [Assosia 52 w/e 1 September].

Although the average depth of deal of the 10 heaviest promoters has fallen from 41% to37.9%, four brands (Lake District Cheese Co, Philadelphia, Dairylea and Laughing Cow) increased the depth of savings on offer. Lake District upped its average saving from 49.6% to 50.3%.

This reflects 5.5% growth in half-price deals and a general trend towards money-off, rather than volume-driving deals such as bogof and extra free. The fixture has seen none of the latter in the past year, although there has been a 6.9% increase in x-for-y deals. Despite a 7.9% dip, standard save deals are most heavily used, accounting for 37.4% of deals.

Given the difficulties many brands have faced over the past year, some are questioning the effectiveness of fiercer promotions. “Consumers now have a greater understanding of promotions so are less likely to be swayed by price or volume-led deals,” says Kate Richards, senior brand manager at Arla Foods.

Not that there’s much evidence to suggest anyone’s come up with an alternative (value-adding, ‘special purchase’ deals still only account for 3.1% ofactivity). “As the market remains extremely competitive, we expect brands will continue to promote heavily,” concedes Richards.

Published in The Grocer, 02 December 2013