Brand View Insights reviews price and promotional trends taking place in different categories. This report provides a closer look at the changes across the Cooking Sauces sector.
Inflation and NPD
Brand View data shows that prices in Ambient Cooking Sauces are on the rise – moving from £1.58 a year ago to £1.68 (up 6%) with a number of price increases occurring in January and February this year. These price increases are a result of a combination of pack size change and core base price increases.
Pack Size Change
Whilst the shelf price has increased by 6%, volume price has increased at a greater rate (up 9% vs. a year ago). This further increase is driven by smaller packs coming into the market, whilst pricing has been maintained. A recent example of this is Dolmio Express Carbonara, which moved from a 330g to a 300g pouch with the shelf price remaining the same at £2.34 (price change Dec 2011).
Base Price Increases
Of the lines which are stocked across the major retailers, 40% have seen a base price increase since November 2011. Over a third of these price increases have come from products which have increased by between 10 and 20p per pack since last November. We have seen these price increases occurring across the board with major branded lines through to Own Label SKUs.
Promotions have been at an all-time high over the last 6 months with activity significantly increasing from October 2011. However, activity has diminished slightly in the last few weeks, coming down to similar levels taking place this time last year.
The recent increase in promotions has been a direct effect of promotional activity from Mars, Own Label and Premier and has been predominantly from Save Amount promotions. The number of SKUs on Save Amount activity is up 57% in the last quarter vs. the same time last year.
Despite the heavy increase in Save Amount activity, the level of discount offered to consumers hasn’t actually changed. From a shopper’s perspective there may appear to be more promotions taking place, but these promotions are off a higher base price with a similar discount.
Integrating Brand View’s Promotional History data with Sales data can give a greater understanding on whether this price and promotional mix is resulting in an overall growth in value sales.
Winners and Losers
There have been some marked differences in the promotional strategy of the brands in the category over the last 90 days. The Mars brands (Dolmio and Seeds of Change) tend to offer lower depth of discounts during their promotions than Premier Foods’ (Sharwoods and Lloyd Grossman). There is however, a clear difference between all of these brands, with Dolmio offering noticeable longer promotions when compared to the others. Ragu has adopted the opposite strategy to Dolmio, with short, heavy discounts (offering the heaviest depth of cut for their consumers at 42.5%).