shop shelf offers marketing value supermarket

Sainsbury’s has accused Which? of being overly simplistic in its investigation into promotions on unhealthy products.

The supermarket said the investigation, which found promotions at major food retailers were skewed towards sugar-laden products, failed to take into account its cutback on offers and move towards everyday low pricing.

Which? found Sainsbury’s had the second-lowest number of promotions after Asda across the six retailers studied - which also included Ocado, Waitrose, Tesco and Morrisons.

Of the group, Sainsbury’s came out as average in its skew towards unhealthy promotions, with less healthy products accounting for 54% of its offers. Asda and Waitrose came out as the most skewed with 55% of their promotions on unhealthier products, while Ocado and Morrisons were the least skewed at 52%.

Sainsbury’s pointed out it had introduced lower regular prices on thousands of its products including fresh produce last year, which had made them “affordable all the time”.

It also axed multibuy offers in its stores in June, and removed confectionery from its meal deal offer.

Where it did promote less healthy products such as Coca-Cola, it would also promote a healthier alternative such as Diet Coke, Sainsbury’s said.

“Since 2014, we’ve been working hard to remove promotions and invest money in regular lower prices,” said Sainsbury’s food commercial director Paul Mills-Hicks.

“In doing so, we have made hundreds of fresh and healthy products affordable all of the time and our fresh produce sales are growing as a result. We have also taken a big step by calling on the industry to remove multibuys, which we believe will lead to healthier diets and reduce household waste.”