When it comes to choice of promotional mechanic, the x-for-y deal has the X-factor for many brands. In the past four weeks, x-for-ys accounted for 32% of all featured promotional space – up from 23% a year ago, according to retail analysts Assosia. Over the same period, the use of all other promotional mechanics fell, although ‘save’ promos continued to account for the lion’s share of all offers, at 38%.

One of the attractions of x-for-ys is driving volume without losing too much value, says Assosia MD Kay Staniland. And it’s something plenty of suppliers are keen to do – with seven of the top 10 most-promoted brands increasing their use of the mechanic year-on-year.

This has been most marked in the case of Cadbury, which used x-for-y for over half the deals it ran in the past month, up from just 15% of all its activity a year ago. Over the period Cadbury reined in half-price and ‘save’ activity, which fell from a 45% share of its promotions to 26%. ‘Save’ has also fallen in favour with five other top 10 brands.

Birds Eye, meanwhile, ran no x-for-ys in April 2012 but last month used it for around 8% of its deals, particularly on frozen poultry and veg. One of the brands to buck the x-for-y trend was Coca-Cola, which increased its focus on bogofs while running fewer x-for-y and straight ‘save’ offers – although x-for-y still accounted for 60% of all Coke promotions.

Coke, along with Mars, has had the pedal to the metal when it comes to promotional activity – with both brands running almost three times as many featured space promotions year-on-year in the past four weeks. In April 2012, Coke’s marketing was focused firmly on the Olympics, and the brand ran just 73 deals compared with the 200 offer in the past four weeks.

But Coca-Cola and Mars are by no means the exception. Eight of the top 10 most-promoted brands ran more deals than a year ago, and the total number of branded offers recorded across the grocers has risen 19.9% year-on-year from 6,886 to 8,256. This is a continuation of the trend for increasing promotional activity seen over recent months, with Assosia recorded a total of 10,174 featured space promos in the past four weeks, up from 8,032 in the same period a year ago.

Once again, the figures reveal a strong focus on own label activity, with the total number of own-label offers soaring 67.4% from 1,146 to 1,918. With brand price-matching prevalent across the industry, retailers are increasingly using their own-label ranges as a way of differentiating themselves from their rivals and have recognised the value in making this offer as attractive as possible to shoppers.

4 weeks to 27/04/2013
RankingRank last monthBrandNumber of promotionsIncrease / Decrease on previous monthIncrease / Decrease on previous yearAverage % savingAverage savings % change m-o-mAverage savings % change y-o-y
45Birds Eye21310.36%16.39%40.45%0.1%9.3%
98Mr Kipling1125.66%30.23%32.70%4.0%13.8%
Total o/l19180.37%67.36%26.01%-0.6%-1.5%
Total brands82560.17%19.90%33.81%0.0%-1.5%

Published in The Grocer, 11 May 2013


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