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Drinks

Drinks Portfolios Need To Be Consumer Focused: Co-op Drinks Boss

Simon Cairns, the Co-op’s head of beers, wines and spirits, has said that supermarket chains need to abandon portfolio deals in constructing their drinks offerings, and instead arrange their portfolios in a consumer-tailored way.

Cairns says that in the Co-op’s case, this means altering in-store drinks assortments in accordance with supermarket size and clientele demographics.

"What we can’t do is enter into these portfolio deals – we can’t commit to a branded supplier where we will take 18 products from them in order to get an overarching cost benefit," Cairns told TheDrinksBusiness.com.

"We can’t work that way – and an increasing number of retailers are applying [that principle, too]."

The Co-op has developed a system of drinks-arrangement ‘clusters to meet the needs of this new approach’. Whereas one cluster may suit a Co-op supermarket in one part of Britain, another may be more appropriate for another elsewhere in the country, where buying habits are different.

"This time we got the insight team involved very closely, and we were able to ask, 'What are shoppers shopping?' So we looked at our membership data, at Nielsen market data, and at historical sales of units by store to build a picture that a particular store needs to have X, Y and Z, and those customers have a greater propensity to buy X, Y and Z kinds of products.

"For those particular customers, we ranked wines we want in that range in order of priority that suit that particular customer need."

"Historically, we’ve had 345 SKUs in the range, and all we’ve done is stock the best-selling products in smaller stores, with large stores getting the full range in eight bays, so there was no finesse to it," he added.

"We haven’t previously ranged by shopper attitude and occasion, but now it’s about making the space we have in those stores work even harder by putting products in there that shoppers want to buy."

© 2016 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Peter Donnelly. To subscribe to ESM: The European Supermarket Magazine, click here.

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