Sainsbury's is to offer suppliers deeper market and product insights through a new online data sharing project to try to improve efficiency of supply.

Up to now, traders at the supermarket have shared information with suppliers on an ad hoc basis. But the new online system will enable a company to go into a continually updated database to find out how well a product is performing.

This will be measured through 20 key metrics, such as how their product is selling, as well as identifying levels of availability and levels of wastage.

A spokeswoman for Sainsbury's said: "Sharing of performance information was previously driven by the traders, who would see a particular trend and think 'I'd better phone up so and so and tell them what's going on'. We have now brought together all this information into one place for suppliers to access and to see what is happening on their lines across the business. This will make them and us more efficient."

The system is now being trialled with Sainsbury's 150 biggest suppliers, but it is intended to gradually bring all on board, she added.

Sainsbury's trading director Mike Coupe, who is heading the project, said the new management system was about analysing lost opportunities.