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M&S has reintroduced ‘this is not just food…’ marketing campaign as it looks to transform its food business.

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With this year's official Fairtrade Fortnight running from 25th February-10th March, we take a look at how retailers are supporting the event, and driving an ethical agenda in the face of a highly value orientated market.

This year’s Fairtrade Fortnight focuses on campaigning for a living income to become a reality for cocoa farmers in West Africa, with a particular focus on women. The foundation is running a “She Deserves a Living Income campaign”, to encourage shoppers to buy Fairtrade products.

Co-op: ethical commitment

The Co-op has a strong focus on ethical trading and is the UK’s largest convenience retailer of Fairtrade products, so it is no surprise that it is running a number of initiatives and leading on support for Fairtrade Fortnight this year. The retailer has been committed to supporting Fairtrade since its launch in the UK in 1994 and today, all of its own brand chocolate is sourced from Fairtrade cocoa.

This year, Co-op has launched a Fairtrade Pledge, in which it is encouraging customers to swap one product in their basket for a Fairtrade alternative. Co-op is also urging customers to celebrate the impact Fairtrade has made around the world and has launched a celebration pack. With this, customers can access stories, recipes using Fairtrade products, and hints and tips on how to promote Fairtrade within communities. The retailer has also been promoting the campaign on its social media platforms, particularly using videos to show the impact of buying Fairtrade.

M&S: traceability tool

Following the launch of its traceability map in 2016, M&S has extended the coverage of the map to its tea and coffee supply chains in support of Fairtrade Fortnight this year. Part of M&S’s long-term goal to be a leader for sustainable production, all coffee and tea sold at M&S is Fairtrade. Last year, the retailer contributed over £1.3m in Fairtrade Premiums for the tea and coffee producers to invest in their communities.

The interactive traceability tool shows where the retailer’s tea and coffee producers are located, as well as key details on these producers. The map also shows the number of workers or cooperative members and, where possible, the percentage of females who are cooperative members. This reflects M&S’s plan to champion female workers and growers in its supply chain.

Hidden hot chocolate salon pop-up

To mark the start of Fairtrade Fortnight, the Fairtrade Foundation opened a secret hot chocolate salon in London. The innovative pop-up was hidden at the back of a newsagents in Dalston, and customers were transported into a West African themed café at the push of a button. The café, named Rosine’s Hot Chocolate Salon after a cocoa farmer from Co^te d’Ivoire, offered a choice of three hot chocolates. The hot chocolates were priced at £1.86, representing a day’s living income for a cocoa farmer.

Waitrose and Co-op were among the commercial partners that donated products for the hot chocolate salon, along with a number of suppliers including Divine Fairtrade chocolate and Freedom Mallows.

Appeal of Fairtrade products

IGD’s ShopperVista research shows that 15% of shoppers said that whether a product supports workers in developing nations was very important and 42% said this was fairly important. This indicates shoppers are willing to pay to support values such as Fairtrade. Our Shoppers of the Future research also indicates that shoppers will be finding more ways to express their social consciousness through their shopping in the future. With ethical considerations expected to become more relevant to shoppers in the future, retailers’ support of such events and visibility of relevant ranges seems set to be an increasingly important driver of store choice in the future.


IGD Co-op Trade Briefing 2019

19 September, Manchester

Succeeding together. The supplier engagement day will help delegates learn practical ways to action Co-op’s strategy and will also give you the chance to help strengthen relationships and businesses together.

Find out more »

Ahead of our next London safari on April 9, we share some of the reasons why we believe London stands out as a source of food-to-go innovation.

1. Health and wellness

We don’t mean to say that London’s food-to-go scene is all about health and wellness, but we see a strong health and wellness positioning running through the proposition at a number of key players. Perhaps among the most obvious are Crussh, with its core focus on fit food, and Planet Organic. But actually it’s also a factor behind the success of a number of other operators, with the likes of Pod, Pure and Abokado all offering an extensive range of interesting, tasty and filling healthier options within their wider proposition. Healthier options might not be all they offer, but they are an important component of their appeal.

2. Global cuisines and flavours

London absorbs a wide range of different global cultures, and this is reflected in its food scene. And while historically this may have just fed through to its restaurant scene, this is now very much a core pillar of the food-to-go landscape. Asian cuisine is a key influence, which often starts with sushi but extends a whole lot further. Pod and Leon are well accomplished for example at integrating a range of global cuisines into a grab and go menu. For retailers and manufacturers here there’s a great opportunity to see innovation ahead of the curve.

3. Format fusion

We find this a fascinating space right now, and excitingly, it is a journey that is only just beginning as the fusion between retail and food-to-go, and even foodservice, continues at pace. There are other markets, like the US, where we see supermarkets having pushed deeper into food-to-go and foodservice, but there are an increasing number of excellent examples in London. Sainsbury’s Pimlico store is one example, while M&S, with its rollout of its Market Hall counters into more stores, is making greater inroads into this space.

4. New food destinations 

Specifically we‘re talking here about food halls, with the London scene currently in the process of exploding. Right now, the best to visit in our view are the Victoria and Fulham Market Halls, giving a great feel for the mix of cuisines, missions and customers that the best food halls globally encapsulate. Others appear set to enrich the culinary landscape further. 

5. Targeting new missions

Through our shopper insight programme, ShopperVista, we’ve covered food-to-go in some depth over the past three years, giving us a strong back history into changing trends and missions. We’ve been particularly struck over that period by two perhaps slightly less obvious missions, the snacking mission and the leisure mission. Within this, the growth of more benefit focused menu items within the channel is something that is coming through increasingly in London, with gym boxes and protein boxes for example becoming more regular features on the shelves of a growing number of food to go specialists, and increasingly, wider ranges at the likes of Pod positioned around broader health benefits. As trends toward less rigid mealtimes continue, we continue to see this as a growth opportunity. 

Want to join us on April 9? Click here for more details and to book your place. Get in touch if you have further questions.

IGD Retail Safaris


The overall growth of the UK grocery market was 1.9% in the 12 weeks up to February 24th, according to the latest data from the Kantar Worldpanel. This was a slight increase of +0.2 percentage points on January, reflecting a nudge upwards in both inflation and volume. 

Brexit: despite growing concern shoppers are not stockpiling

Brexit remains a key issue. Shoppers are worried about its impact but currently only a minority currently say they are modifying their behaviours because of it. Only 3% of ShopperVista shoppers have started stockpiling*. This is a slight increase on the 1% who said they were in August 2018, but the numbers remain small and are not significant enough to affect retailers growth.

Shoppervista subscribers can read more in our Brexit and savvy shopping in 2019 deck.

Valentine's day: boosting February's sales

Valentine's day is a key retail event in the first half of the year, centred around treats following a health focused January. We are increasingly seeing shoppers dine in and meal deals for two continue to be a popular promotional mechanic in February. Shoppers' perceptions are changing regarding discounters and seasonal events. 10% of people brought treats such as chocolate, steak or wine from Aldi in the Valentine's day week.

We explore the three key themes further in our Valentine's 2019 research.

Discounters: still gaining market share

The discounters continue to perform well with both Aldi and Lidl taking market share. Aldi was the only retailer to see double digit sales growth of 10%, a further increase on its 9.1% growth in January.

Lidl's results however were surprisingly disappointing, with growth of 5.4%, compared to 7.3% in January. Retail Analysis subscribers can see the latest format innovation and how Lidl 2.0 is showcasing fresh and appealing to families in our Lidl Dunstable retail execution.

Ocado and M&S: growth in Ocado's sales

Waitrose saw growth, of 1%, which was its highest since August 2018. Watch out for our coverage of its full year results this Thursday. We are continuing to see partnerships reshape the UK retailing landscape with the announcement of the joint venture between Ocado Retail and M&S. After this sales at Ocado rose by 3.4%, whilst it maintained its market share of 1.2%.

Subscribers can read more here in our deck; Ocado Retail and M&S.

Other retailers: mixed results

There were contrasting performances among the larger retailers. Tesco had a positive month, with growth improving to 1.3% from 1.0% in January. The higher growth suggests its trading is no longer being impacted by disruption caused by range changes in the run-up to Christmas.

As in January, Co-op's performance remains strong with growth of 3.6%. This was driven by an increase in footfall of 244,000 over the month.

There were diverging trends for potential merger partners Sainsbury's and Asda. While the sales decline at Sainsbury's worsened to -1% from -0.3% in January. Asda achieved 1% growth continuing an uninterrupted trend since April 2017. Following a highly critical provisional report from the Competition and Mergers Authority both retailers now await a final ruling from the competition watchdog on or before April 30th.Asda. While the sales decline at Sainsbury's worsened to -1% from -0.3% in January. Asda achieved 1% growth continuing an uninterrupted trend since April 2017. Following a highly critical provisional report from the Competition and Mergers Authority both retailers now await a final ruling from the competition watchdog on or before April 30th.

  12 weeks to 25th February 2018 12 weeks to 24th February 2019 Sales growth
Tesco 27.9 27.7 1.3%
Sainsbury's 16.2 15.7 -1.0%
Asda 15.6 15.5 1.0%
Morrisons 10.6 10.5 0.8%
Aldi 7.0 7.6 10.0%
Co-op 5.8 5.9 3.6%
Lidl 5.1 5.2 5.4%
Waitrose 5.2 5.2 1.0%
Iceland 2.2 2.2 1.7%
Ocado 1.2 1.2 3.4%
Other Multiples 1.7 1.8 7.1%
Symbols & Independents 1.7 1.6 -2.3%

*1,000+ shoppers in Jan '19

Look out for our coverage of Morrisons full year results coming in mid March.

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