Rejuvenating mature categories: how Sainsbury’s partnered with Britvic

Date : 06 November 2019

Nick Gladding

Senior Retail Analyst

A key part of Sainsbury’s drive to boost sales performance is to provide more inspiration for shoppers, both in terms of a differentiated product offer and easy to shop fixtures. By working more closely with leading soft drinks supplier Britvic it has managed to reverse a long-term decline in a key category.

Reversing the decline squash sales

Like many mature categories, growth in squash was proving challenging as the category is often treated as a commodity by shoppers. It also suffered from too many promotions. Speaking at IGD Live Britvic’s head of category management, Lauren Priestley, said it first worked to fix basics such as pack sizes and promotional tactics. After this it could innovate to drive premium growth by bringing in more real fruit, adult flavours and convenient products; attributes that would be valued by Sainsbury’s shoppers.

Sainsbury’s then worked with Britvic to overhaul the fixture, in-store and online, creating more space for premium products to encourage shoppers to trade up. Britvic also engaged heavily with Sainsbury’s to support its sponsorship of Comic Relief. The result has been a big improvement in Sainsbury’s squash sales relative to its competitor set.

Driving category growth

Britvic’s success in working with Sainsbury’s demonstrates how the retailer has become more open to collaborating with suppliers to drive category growth. Compared to some of its competitors, Sainsbury’s customers are more willing to trade up when they have the option to do so and are more responsive to NPD. Sainsbury’s sees collaboration with suppliers as crucial to achieving a more efficient supply chain that will deliver cost savings it can reinvest to take advantage of market opportunities.

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