Sport sponsorship is playing a big role in shaping the promotional landscape this summer.
Cadbury is once again at the top of the table of the 10 most-promoted brands, and has backed its olympic sponsorship with 316 featured space promotions in the four weeks to 1 July [Assosia]. This is 54 more than it put on during May, and well over twice the number of deals it ran in the same period a year ago. Coca-Cola has also stepped up activity - also running 54 more deals than in May, and 56 more than a year ago.
And before that fateful Euro 2012 penalty shoot-out, Mars upped its activity to support its English FA sponsorship - it more than doubled the number of deals it ran month-on-month.
UK beef prices may have relented a little in the past month - they are down 1% month-on-month - but overall a beef shortage in the UK and Irish markets, caused by farmers holding on to more heifers for breeding, is continuing to keep prices high. At £2,910/tonne, UK prices are currently 20.3% above 2011 levels, with French beef also up by double digits on last year, having risen by a further 3.9% in the past month.
It’s a different story for meat from farther afield, though. Brazilian beef is now 13.7% cheaper than it was this time last year, and down 0.5%month-on-month.
The impending sow stall ban and its impact on EU pork supplies and prices are a key concern for the pork industry at the moment, but for now pork prices are holding relatively steady. Danish prices are up only marginally year-on-year, while UK pork prices are down 1.3% and largely flat over the past month.
Conspicuous by their absence from the top-10 table are the beer brands. Despite the Euros, fewer offers were run on beer and lager last month than a year ago, with the category’s share of all featured promotional space in stores falling by two percentage points to 4.5%. It’s a trend that has been seen across the wider BWS category, with its share of space falling from 23% to 18.8% year-on-year.
The drop in beer offers may be a sign of the reluctance of brewers to support generic cross-category promotions such as any two or three packs for £18, says Kay Staniland, MD of retail analysts Assosia. “Costs are increasing for the beer industry, so they want to re-focus the promotional activity to suit their brand or offering,” she adds.
The saving offered on beers has also dropped, from 25.3% a year ago to 12.5%, going against the market trend that has seen eight of the 10 most-promoted brands offer greater savings this year than in June 2011. These contributed to the average saving across the 8,807 deals offered in June rising from 30.8% a year ago to 34.8%.
Of the top 10 brands, the saving on Walkers crisps rose the most, up from 26.6% to 44%, while Mars deepened its deals from 24.9% a year ago to 41.3%. These hikes have been driven by a change in mechanic, with Mars running more half-price and ‘save offers’, and Walkers pushing on bogof deals.