The second-largest supermarket in the UK was founded in 1869 by John James Sainsbury with a shop in Drury Lane, London and quickly became a British favourite, becoming the largest UK retailer in 1922. But, in 1995, Tesco snatched the top spot and has never looked back, and in 2003 ASDA temporarily overtook them, demoting Sainsbury’s to third. Today, Sainsbury’s enjoys a 16 percent market share of the supermarket sector, with more than 1,400 stores across Britain, but it is actively looking at ways to become number one again, after their proposed merger with ASDA was blocked by the Competition and Markets Authority.
One of their new strategies was revealed during the BBC’s six-part documentary “Inside the Supermarket”.
The 2019 series revealed: “As well as revamping their stores, the company is also looking to win over customers by predicting new trends.
“The Future Brands team was set up last year, tasked with trying to find and sign-up innovative products, before their rivals do.
“Taking on new products is a risk, so the team is choosing a shortlist to trial in store and have stocked up a shelf to help finalise the 11 brands that they will test out.
Shopping: Sainsbury’s is hoping to attract new customers
Retail news: Sainsbury’s is hoping to gain the top spot back
Taking on new products is a risk
“For the brands selected, a successful trial could lead to a contract worth half a million pounds.”
Tom Elliot, Origination and Development Manager, explained the process for the new Future Brands venture.
He said: “We have 95 brands that have got in touch, one of them is a chocolate bar that is 75 percent less sugar than the average equivalent.
“There is a demand from our customers that they want different – all the growth in the market is coming from the small brands.
“The big established brands, actually, we are seeing customers turn their backs on.”
Great Big Lockdown Survey: Tell us what life’s like for you by answering THESE questions
Business: Tom Elliot was the Origination and Development Manager
The series then focused on what the decision meant for one brand – Made for Drink – and its owner Daniel Featherstone.
It added: “One of the entrepreneurs that have just been given the good news is Dan, who runs his fledgeling business with his wife Jen.
“A former marketing manager, his product is a luxury snack designed to accompany alcoholic drinks.
“The supermarket wants to trial two of Dan’s products, chorizo thins and salami chips.
“It’s the biggest order they’ve ever received.”
Mr Featherstone detailed his delight with being selected.
Made for Drink was selected as a brand
Daniel Featherstone visited the store
He said: “What it means is, basically, we’ve potentially got a really big opportunity.
“You walk into a pub now and there are the most amazing craft beers produced by microbreweries and there’s still just a bag of crisps in a cardboard box.
“I thought it would just be so much better to make some snacks,
“This is authentic Spanish chorizo made in northwest Spain, but it’s got the most beautiful flavoured fat.”
Mr Featherstone’s product was trailed in store, along with several others and the series showed a positive response from customers.
Today, his products can be found on Sainsbury’s website.