By Ed Bedington
A major project to improve Somerfield's meat offering is currently being rolled out.
The move to distribute centrally packed meat to all of the grocer's stores is being described as its biggest ever meat project, and the company is investing £2m in promoting the initiative through a rolling programme of roadshows, marketing, coupons, leaflets and posters.
Somerfield's Huntsworth depot was the first to change to CPM in October last year, followed by one depot every six to eight weeks, the most recent being Pitreavie in July.
CPM project manager Andy Johnson said the move was a huge logistical and commercial challenge, involving briefings of more than 1,500 managers and meat personnel to ensure the initiative went smoothly. Johnson and his team also held a series of workshops across the UK with their suppliers.
He said: "The objective is to improve the consistency of our meat and keep pace with developments in the red meat industry.
"We have improved our range and established a new product development programme to ensure we offer our customers excellent availability, quality and choice at all times."
The retailer now offers more than 95 lines, which Johnson said had been benchmarked against the best in the industry.
Johnson also claims the clear packaging now used is more customer friendly.
The CPM project has allowed the company to develop pre-packed regional ranges, such as Cotswold Quality Lamb. It also means it can create special purchase' packs, extensions to existing ranges and improved labelling.