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Reflecting on Veganuary, we round up our favourite initiatives this year.

M&S: private label investment

M&S invested in its first line of vegan food, ‘Plant Kitchen’. The 60-product range includes meals, snacks and ingredients.

Investment in plant-based private label ranges is a great way to create a point of differentiation.

M&S encouraged its loyal shoppers to try the range, offering Sparks members 10% discount and coupons across Plant Kitchen products, helping to support the launch and create a ‘buzz' around it.

Source: IGD Research

Sainsbury’s: in-store positioning

On 4th February, Sainsbury’s will become the first UK supermarket set to trial a new meat-alternative section in its meat, fish and poultry aisle across 20 stores within its estate.

Plant-based alternatives that will sit amongst the meat options include Sainsbury’s Love Veg! Vegan Chorizo Shroomdogs and Vivera Veggie Fish Burgers.

The move follows the success of its expanded vegan range earlier this month and shopper’s increasing interest in flexitarianism. The retailer has seen an 82% increase in customers searching for vegan products online, and 65% growth in plant-based sales year-on-year.

Rosie Bambaji, plant-based buyer at Sainsbury’s, said “We hope that this trial will make our customer’s shopping experience even more seamless, and we’re looking forward to hearing their feedback.”

Source: IGD: Research

Holland & Barrett: seizing the influencer opportunity

UK-based health chain Holland & Barrett launched a WhatsApp group, ‘Vegan Your Way’, for those interested in taking up veganism.

Those that decide to join can access plant-based information, recipes and tips from health professionals and experts, including plant-based, fitness blogger Grace Fit.

This is a great way to seize the influencer opportunity, providing accessible information and motivation to those partaking in Veganuary.

The retailer is set to develop its vegan offer further with plans to roll out a chain of new vegan stores.

Greggs: stand out marketing campaign

Food-to-go outlet famous for its sausage rolls, Greggs, launched a vegan alternative in 950 of its stores at the beginning of January.

The product is made with vegetable oil and contains a bespoke Quorn filling.

The launch was extremely popular on social media through Gregg’s official launch video and over 1,500 instagram users posting using the hashtag #greggsvegansausageroll.

Source: Greggs

Waitrose: help & advice

Waitrose used its online channel to offer a four-week meal plan to help provide inspiration for those trying Veganuary.

The retailer provided a range of different options for each eating occasion, providing calorie information and preparation times helping to cater for all health concerns and lifestyles.

Source: Waitrose

Want to know more?

Retail Analysis subscribers can read and download our 'Veganuary UK 2019' report here.

The Italian government has proposed a bill to introduce mandatory origin-labelling for all food products. The bill, which is yet to be passed, would require manufactures to list on the product label the geographical origin of ingredients.

'Victory for farmers and consumers'…

Ettore Prandini, president of the farmers’ association, Coldiretti, said that the initiative represents “a great victory for farmers and consumers”. It is also said to be supported by 96% of the Italian population.

However, Prandini is worried about the “uncertain and contradictory attitude” of the EU “regarding the obligation to indicate the origin on the label for eggs but not for egg products, for fresh meat but not for cold cuts, for fresh fruit but not for juices and jams, for honey but not for sugar”.

…As it proposes to increase local production

Origin-labelling is already compulsory for chicken, milk and diary products, pasta wheat, peeled tomatoes and concentrates and rice in Italy. However, this measure only applies to beef, eggs and honey at the EU level, after being first introduced in 2001.

The Italian government hopes the proposed bill will increase local production, provide greater options for customers and prevent fake Italian products from entering the market. It will also form working groups with individuals from the agricultural world, academia and trade associations.

France-based, Casino-owned Cnova has released its financial results for FY2018. It has reported net sales of €2.2bn, driven by organic growth of 5.1%. The increase in organic sales was supported, it said, by the development of showroom revenues.

GMV: 9.3% increase to €3.6bn

Cnova reported an increase in gross merchandise volume (GMV) organic growth of 9.3% to €3.6bn. The retailer noted ‘organic growth accelerated throughout the year’, rising from 6.1% in Q1 to 11.9% in Q4. The pace of growth and its advancement through the year sets it up positively for 2019. Cnova attributes the growth to a positive contribution from its marketplace and the addition of Cdiscount corners in Géant hypermarkets.

Marketplace GMV: +12.3% to €1.1bn

Marketplace GMV grew by 12.3% in 2018 bringing its total GMV share to 34.3%. There was also a 37% growth in SKUs, which reached 48m by the end of 2018. Marketplace vendor services more than doubled in 2018 and now cover more than 25% of Cdiscount’s vendor base. GMV fulfilled by Cdiscount increased by 63%.

Cdiscount developed its loyalty programme…

Cdiscount’s loyalty programm3, Cdiscount à Volonté (CDAV), launched a new package in Q1 2018, which saw membership increase by 23%. CDAV-eligible SKUs increased by 14% to 281,000 by the end of December 2018.

…And opened 45 new Cdiscount corners in Géant hypermarkets

Elsewhere in the business, 45 new Cdiscount corners were opened in Géant hypermarkets, bringing the total to 49. Showrooms were also opened on the Champs-Elysées in Paris in early October 2018. Cdiscount has expanded its delivery service to cover more countries through European partnership marketplaces. It now delivers to 19 countries in Europe.

…As well as holding two major events

The banner held events for its 20-year Anniversary and for Black Friday in Q4 2018. Black Friday alone generated €57m GMV in one day with a peak of 23,000 visits per minute. Both events contributed to the 11.9% GMV organic growth in Q4 2018.

Commenting on the results, CEO Emmanuel Grenier said, “These strong results illustrate the relevance of our strategy, which reinforce our positioning as the leading French e-merchant. Building on our 2018 successes, we are now looking forward in 2019 to reinforce our growth and our profitability”.

For more on online, subscribers can see all our insights on the channel on the hub page.


In this report we explore Valentine's retail execution across different channels and countries, identifying common trends for 2019.
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Due to popular demand, we are running two workshops this year to help you assess, evaluate and make category focused decisions during this challenging environment.