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September 03, 2005

Sainsbury's gets its organic act together

This is great news from The Independent on 28 August:

J Sainsbury will today unveil a multi-million-pound shake-up of its organic range, the latest thrust in attempts by its chief executive, Justin King, to turn the supermarket chain around.

Sainsbury's, which is struggling to lure back customers lost to rivals such as Tesco and Waitrose, is adding 100 new products to its rebranded SO Organic range. Prices will also be slashed on a quarter of products, which include Welsh lamb, milk, eggs, wine, cheese, fruit and vegetables. A spokeswoman said the organic market in the UK was growing at around 15 per cent a year, and accounted for an increasing proportion of the retailer's own sales.

On my way to my local Sainsbury's yesterday, I noticed a billboard announcing a substantial price cut on free range organic eggs. Great news. This is the first time I have noticed a really substantial price cut on any item that I buy regularly from Sainsbury's.

What a canny move. Not only is the organic market growing, Sainsbury's is the first of the big three supermarkets to really make a song and dance about its organic range. At last: distinction, instead of more "me too" marketing.

My gut feeling is that it will take a little time for this strategy to pay off. There is a perception, after all, that organic is very much more expensive than non-organic, so it will take a while for the "organic is cheaper at Sainsbury's" message to sink in, especially among shoppers who have previously avoided organic because of cost. Let's hope Sainsbury's holds its nerve and continues to invest in this strategy, whatever the initial results.

Posted by Adrian Trenholm on September 3, 2005 at 11:41 PM in Food, Marketing | Permalink


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I assume this activity is part of the national Organic Week that I mentioned briefly on spittoon - http://www.spittoon.biz/archives/organic_week.html

As you say a postive marketing move by JS.

Posted by: Andrew | Sep 4, 2005 12:31:32 AM

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