>>waitrose puts quality at the centre of its offering...asda notes trading up to premium lines...The co-op gets the best of both worlds

Waitrose, grocery buyer
Waitrose is experiencing strong growth in jams, marmalades and honey, driven by consumers moving into premium lines.
Being able to provide a choice of quality products is very important for our customers. Our biggest growth brands are Tiptree, Bonne Maman and St Dalfour, plus significant growth from Waitrose own label.
I have not seen any real brand-led innovation in the category in the past year. Everyone wants to launch a new strawberry jam - but it’s been done before.
The best developments are coming from the own label suppliers.
Asda, buyer, desserts & baking
Customers are trading out of standard jams and into premium, especially if those premium products are healthy as well. The highest growth product at Asda is Extra Special Jam, which at 66% fruit fulfils both of the criteria customers are looking for.
As far as branded products are concerned, the improvements to the Hartley’s Best range have taken trade away from Robertson’s, showing that customers are prepared to pay more for better quality.
The only category innovation appears to be in the honey category through pack format and health benefits.
Co-operative Group, category buyer
The major trend remains a trading up across all three sweet spreads sectors, with the increase in value often masking a slow decline on volume.
Once a customer has traded up, it is difficult to move back to standard products and this will continue to impact on long established standard brands.
At the Co-op, our customer base looks for premium quality in a spread, but looks for value preserves for home baking, so both sectors hold up well. For the second year running, we are the only retailer to overtrade on both jam and marmalade.
Ted McFadyen
Louise Bennett
Judith Sinclair-Smith