Cravendale will make shopper loyalty its key focus in 2013, as it looks to launch an ‘always-on’ loyalty scheme to return its market-leading milk brand to growth.

The new programme will begin in May and run throughout the year, offering a wide range of rewards. Cravendale will also offer retailer-exclusive loyalty schemes for the first time, to allow supermarkets to differentiate themselves.

To date, Cravendale has run loyalty programmes in short bursts and targeted them mostly at families, with rewards such as Muppets backpacks for kids.

Although the bursts had had a positive impact on sales, these had often been followed by sales troughs, admitted Cravendale senior brand manager Sam Dolan. “Our performance on these schemes is brilliant, but when we’re not running them, sales suffer,” she said.

Cravendale’s sales have fallen £2.3m over the past year to £151.2m, while volumes have dropped 2.4% [Nielsen MAT 52 w/e 13 Oct 2012].

Cravendale aimed to grow to £155m over the next 12 months by rewarding shoppers more regularly and in a more targeted way, said Dolan. “The question we’ve been asking is, what does value mean for different people? For some, it’s all about sticking to a budget, so offering a free bottle of Cravendale for every two bottles bought could work. Others will be more attracted to collecting for a bigger item, such as free airport parking.”

retailers had also become keener on exclusive rewards for their customers, Dolan revealed. “They have been asking us, if you’re offering the same reward everywhere, what’s to stop a customer from switching retailers?” she said.

It was too soon to estimate the scheme’s cost but Dolan said Cravendale’s 2013 marketing spend would match its £12m 2012 total.