British supermarkets will need to increase their advertising and promotional efforts to encourage consumers back into shops ahead of the so-called 'golden quarter' of seasonal shopping, research firm Nielsen has said.
In the first eight months of the year, Aldi was the top supermarket ad spender, increasing spend by more than 9% to £25.7 million, Nielsen found, however overall advertising spend by UK supermarkets has fallen by 1%.
With grocery sales continuing to slow, the wider industry needs to invest in advertising and promotional efforts to capitalise on the forthcoming Christmas and New Year season.
"The Christmas season is one of the most crowded times of the year for advertising - and also one of the most creative," commented Barney Farmer, UK commercial director at Nielsen.
"An effective ad is one that drives sales, builds brands and engages viewers’ emotions. Importantly, advertisers need to ensure creative synergies across the campaign: TV, print, digital, in-store, etc. The aim is to have all of your advertising working together so that your brand can really cut through.”
In the past four weeks, grocery sales growth stood at 1.7% in the UK market, according to Nielsen data, which is the lowest level of September growth for the sector in two years.
Sunny weather at the start of the month helped boost sales of soft drinks (+2.7%), crisps and snacks (+2.3%) and frozen foods (+2.1%), however general merchandise sales were down 4.7%, suggesting a 'weakness in discretionary non-food spend', Nielsen said.
Hold Back Spend
“With volume sales still in decline at -0.6% in major UK supermarkets, it’s clear that shoppers are continuing to hold back spend," said Mike Watkins, Nielsen’s UK head of retailer and business insight.
"Against a backdrop of simmering economic uncertainties and the looming deadline of Brexit, as well as the UK having its lowest food inflation rate since April 2018, retailers are finding it more of a challenge to drive topline sales," he added.
© 2019 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Stephen Wynne-Jones. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: The European Supermarket Magazine.