Suppliers wishing to fix trade investment problems should not focus just on ways of improving commercial terms, or boosting promotional performance, said Aidan Bocci of Commercial Advantage Consulting.

He said retailers placed a high priority on working with suppliers that were good at account management and strategic business planning.

"Retailers segment their suppliers and some get put in a box and squeezed for cash and margin. If you are in that box it means you have not managed some of these softer things."

Once in that box it is hard for suppliers to get out, particularly for those in mature categories.