As temperatures rise, so too do sales of bottled water - which is the subject of this month’s multiple grocer audit. Still, sparkling and flavoured water products have become high-volume lines and suppliers are increasingly viewing the space allocated to the carbonated soft drink sector with envy.
In this category the major multiples carry an average of 63 stock-keeping units, of which we found 16% to be on promotion. The number of SKUs on promotion is higher than in many other categories, indicating that this sector has a lot to gain from impulse purchases.
This is most evident at Asda, with nearly a quarter of SKUs on promotion. We found Asda customers were stocking up on these brands, such that 23% of promotional SKUs and 12% of non-promoted SKUs were low on stock at peak periods.
Safeway has relatively few SKUs on promotion (13%) and this creates availability issues. We found 24% of promoted SKUs low or out of stock. This compares with only 6% of non-promoted lines being low on stock - and reinforces the view that Safeway customers shop for deals.
Sainsbury’s performance in this category improves on its average, with customers finding 11% of standard SKUs and 15% of promotional SKUs suffering from availability pressures. Though it has the second highest proportion of promotional SKUs (18%), these figures show Sainsbury’s customers are brand loyal - and less price sensitive.
Somerfield fares slightly better, with only 9% of standard SKUs and 12% of promotional SKUs low on stock. With the fewest availability issues recorded in this sector, Somerfield is a good choice for shoppers seeking to quench their thirst.
Tesco shoppers won’t go home empty-handed either, with only 14% of promotional SKUs and 10% of non-promoted SKUs low on stock.
Morrisons has the fewest products on promotion, at 9%. While this may disappoint the bargain hunters, they will be more concerned to find 36% of these SKUs low on stock. However, only 10% of standard SKUs were low on stock.