UK supermarket Sainsbury’s has declared it will phase out multi-buy promotions (like ‘buy one get one free’) by August, to be replaced instead by lower regular pricing.
The UK’s second-largest retailer said multi-buys were out of step with consumers’ modern higher frequency, lower volume shopping habits. Promotions that encourage consumers to buy more than they need are increasingly being seen in the UK as a cause of waste at home. Sainsbury’s move follows a similar decision by Asda in 2012. Consumers’ rising aversion to at-home waste is driving a shift to smaller portions in many categories.
While that underlying consumer driver of Sainsbury’s move is echoed in the Australian market, a similar retailer aversion to multi-buy promotions hasn’t so far played out here.
In 2015, multi-buy retailer promotions jumped up to 14% of total adverts for fresh fruits and vegetables, according to Freshlogic’s Adwatch™ retail promotion data. That’s nearly double the annual 7-8% share of total ads in 2012 to 2014. Multi-buy promotions’ share of total promotional activity has climbed steadily for the past 4 years in the Australian market, now representing 9% of all grocery adverts.
If Australian retailers make a U-turn and follow this UK example, what could that mean for products that lean heavily on multi-buy promotions