We are sponsoring The Grocer Gold Awards 2024

Get Involved

Promo Dynamic – Christmas comes early with fresh promotions to the fore

The Grocer

Christmas has come early, if the number of featured space promotions is anything to go by. Supermarkets have found room for more than 10,000 deals over the past four weeks – numbers not seen since last December.

But while some of the space is being filled with tins of chocolates for early Christmas shoppers, the biggest hikes in deals have nothing to do with the upcoming festivities.

Unusually, the sharpest increase in promotions has been in the fresh aisles, with retail analysts Assosia recording more than twice as many fruit & veg deals in the four weeks ending 30 September this year as in the same period a year ago. Chilled food, and meat, fish & poultry have also seen major hikes, with the number of deals up 53% and 60% respectively year-on-year.

“It is unusual for fresh food to be showing the biggest increases in activity rather than ambient or shelf-stable goods,” says Assosia MD Kay Staniland.

The increase in fruit & veg deals is, to some degree, the result of clever repositioning of fresh produce displays in-store, which means they are now counted as featured space, Staniland adds.

But the key reason for the overall increase in promotions across all categories has been a shift away from a single brand being allowed to ‘block-book’ featured space.

Seven of the 10 most-promoted brands have increased the number of deals year-on-year, while all 10 are running a greater number than a month ago. Mars has more than doubled its deals year-on-year, while Coca-Cola isn’t far behind with a 90% increase. This is more than Assosia recorded for the soft drink giant in August at the height of the Olympics – and Cadbury is also running more deals than during the Games.

And although Christmas hasn’t been the key reason for this month’s increase in promotional activity, Staniland suggests it may be behind a year-on-year shift in mechanics away from half-price and towards x-for-y, as retailers and suppliers encourage shoppers to stock up early.

4 weeks to 30/09/2012
RankingRank last monthBrandCurrent Number of promotionsIncrease / Decrease on previous monthIncrease / Decrease on previous yearAverage % savingAverage savings % change m-o-mAverage savings % change y-o-y
35Birds Eye16619.42%-10.75%38.21%0.9%7.4%
87Mr Kipling12218.45%38.64%29.12%0.6%7.0%
Total o/l200013.12%52.32%18.85%-0.4%3.0%
Total brands861116.02%23.77%33.77%0.4%0.0%

Published in The Grocer, 06 October 2012