Co-op uses its loaf to drive own-brand sales

10 June 2014

The Co-operative Food has dramatically more than doubled* sales of its own brand bread in the first four weeks following its re-launch, as the country’s leading convenience retailer benefits from its renewed focus on own-brand products.

Sales of the "Loved by us" Farmhouse and Sandwich/Toasting loaves in both White and Wholemeal have vastly outstripped the previous own-brand products with over 2.5 million loaves sold to date.  Customer feedback has been highly positive with Co-op shoppers particularly valuing both the quality of the products and the 75p price.

The re-launch of The Co-operative Food’s Farmhouse loaf is part of a major push on own-brand products which will see over 3,800 lines being re-launched by the end of this year.

The Co-operative Food has also seen bacon sales rise by more than 10 per cent since it announced its ongoing commitment to lower prices on hundreds of everyday essential items.

The Co-op's re-launched bread range forms a part of a "halo" set of own-brand lines including pies, sandwiches, pizzas and ready meals, which have all been re-launched under the "Loved by us" banner and which are all seeing double digit like-for-like sales growth.

The Co-op has invested heavily in its "Loved by us" category with a rigorous tasting and sampling process being led by the Group's Development and Innovation Chef and the team of food specialists, product developers and technical managers. The team are now 50 per cent through the own-brand re-launch programme with 1,750 lines introduced so far in 2014.

Steve Murrells, Chief Executive, Retail commented:

“The Co-operative was historically known for the quality of its own brand produce, and as part our food strategy we are dramatically improving our own brand offer once more.  We offer the best value loaf in Britain in terms of price and quality and the sales we have seen show customers are right behind us.”

The Co-operative Food is taking further steps to achieve its ambition of becoming the UK's leading community retailer. Thousands of products have seen price reductions as part of a £100m price investment, almost 1,000 stores will see major refits during the year and the business remains on course to grow its convenience portfolio by a net 100 stores by the end of the year.

Steve Murrells added:

“The steps we are taking are focused on delivering for our customers and giving them what they want – quality products at great prices in a convenient location. We still have much to do but the customer reaction gives us a great deal of confidence.”

*sales compare the four weeks prior to the re-launch and the four weeks afterwards

Notes to Editors:

The Co-operative Group is the UK’s largest mutual business, whose purpose is “Championing a better way to do business for you and your communities.”
Owned by over eight million members, The Co-operative operates a total of 4,500 outlets, with around 87,000 employees and has an annual turnover of £11 billion.

The Group operates across two core divisions of Retail and Consumer Services.
With a food store in every UK postal area, The Co-operative Food is a leading convenience retailer at the heart of the communities in which it trades. The Retail division also includes the country’s third largest pharmacy chain, The Group’s online electrical business and its farms and estates operations.
The Consumer Services Division includes Funeralcare, the UK’s number one funeral services provider, Co-operative Insurance, a major UK general insurer and CLS, The Group’s legal services operation.