The ambient pasta sauce sector has grown in scale and diversity in recent years, with plenty of brands now on sale as well as speciality retailer own label products. This diversity is reflected by the average of 108 products found across the grocery retailers, with 10% on promotion.
Pasta sauces have high market penetration, though they remain most regularly purchased by the more discerning customer.
The retailer with the largest choice is Sainsbury with 163 skus. However, Sainsbury has only 5% of the category on promotion - half the retailer average. Proving Sainsbury’s clientele do like a deal, we found 25% of promotional products at risk of being out of stock during peak periods.
Tesco offers a similar experience to Sainsbury, with 144 products in a typical category. Shoppers will find 11% on promotion - 25% of these had availability issues. Of those products not on promotion, only 3% had insufficient stock to meet consumer demand. Morrisons, although stocking 103 skus - around the retailer average - was not actively promoting this category since only 3% of products were on offer. This can be a real challenge for store staff to manage, as deal-hungry shoppers hunt out the offers - the result here being 33% of promoted skus at risk of poor availability. In contrast, only 5% of normal lines were low on stock.
Safeway has the most products on promotion - we recorded a chart-topping 21% of the 94-strong category on some form of deal.
Peak time availability issues affected 15% of promotional lines and 11% of standard lines.
Somerfield has only 28 varieties in a typical store. We recorded 11% of products on promotion, though store staff should be pleased that very few promotional products (8%) were low on stock.
The best all-round figures this month come from Asda, with good choice (114 skus), several offers (12% on promotion) and high availability for promotional products (7% at risk) and non-promotional products (4%).