Sir; The 100 new Must-Stock New Products (The Grocer, 28 June, p28) was a great idea, with some super new products and a few long shots. How did you select them? I would like to have had the chance to enter Cawston Vale apple juices. Launched in 2007 to great applaud, we have changed the face of apple juice in the non refrigerated juice category.
We are set to offer high-quality, not-from-concentrate pressed apple juice in a buy-now chill-later format. We brought premium into the category and were praised by Waitrose buyer James Hodgson in Focus On Juices and Smoothies, (The Grocer, 15 March, p44). We are set to achieve more than £2.5m sales in the second year. Surely that list affords us a place among the other starlets?
The Editor responds: Good point. We should have explained. The 100 Must Stock New Products was selected by the product news team based on our review of the hundreds of new launches in the market. This involved not only launches that we had covered in the pages of The Grocer, but also requests via leading PR contacts and PR request services such as Response Source. Having compiled a very long list, we then picked out our favourites based on a range of criteria including price, advertising support, branding and positioning in regards to key trends such as convenience, health/nutrition, premium, ethical, green. We make no pretence that this was scientific. The selection is based on the expertise of the team here at The Grocer. We will have to wait and see how right or wrong we are.
Economic climate will help symbols Tom Fender Director, Harris International Marketing
Sir; We couldn't agree more with Jerry Marwood's belief that Spar stores could benefit from the current challenging climate (The Grocer, 21 June, p10). Having just interviewed 29,000 shoppers face-to-face while shopping in branches of 42 convenience chains or retail brands, the sector as a whole, and symbol groups particularly, have growing shopper support behind them.
Sector penetration continues to rise - 19 million adults (41% of the UK adult population) visit a c-store in a typical week; visit frequency continues to rise with 40% visiting most days, with an average frequency of 3.9 times per week. A massive 86% of shoppers say they don't use the symbol store simply as a last resort and 72% say their symbol store integrates into the local community. And 10% of symbol shoppers say they will use the symbol store more during an economic downturn - only 9% say they will use it less. Why will they (the 10%) use the symbol store more? They won't have to travel so far to the supermarket (ie travel costs) and cheaper shop prices are cited.
Symbol retailers are attracting shoppers of all ages: 29% are 16-34 while 35% are over 55. Symbols are appealing to all age ranges and shopper satisfaction ratings remain high.
A quarter of shoppers say they have received leaflets from the symbol store in the previous three months, demonstrating there is good local marketing, and shoppers who receive leaflets visit more frequently, spend more per trip, buy more on promotion and have a greater awareness of what is sold.
Wal-Mart fascia tells a new story Andrew Bogucki Creative director, CoreBrand
Sir; Wal-Mart has taken the plunge and changed its identity. While I'm specifically referring to the logo and the design elements that support it, it seems to be an indicator of an identity shift in the more universal sense. While highly profitable, perceptions of the world's richest company have suffered from decades of aggressive business practices and dubious employment policies as well as a decidedly uncool, low-end image. Can design help?
The obvious competitor in the mega-retail space is Target, which has always understood the value of good design in all aspects of the brand experience, and whose favorability scores overtook Wal-Mart's last year in CoreBrand's Brand Power Analysis.
Obviously, it takes a number of changes to shift the perception of an organisation. Wal-Mart is stocking and promoting many new 'green' products, and turning to lifestyle-oriented messaging in its slick new commercials. On the logo front, it's using some tried-and-true design treatments to signal change. The bold, all-caps, industrial strength typography has been replaced with a lighter, friendlier, upper-and-lower case treatment. The deep, monopolistic blue has been traded for brighter, less ominous cyan. The military-style star has turned into a bright yellow spark. The hyphenated name has been collapsed to one word.
Is it about a new customer base? Maybe. To help purge some brand baggage? Perhaps. Will it cost millions, even over a billion, just in signage alone? Definitely. Will it make them cool? We'll just have to wait and see.
Don't let anti-gay lobby win, Heinz Wayne Fick
Sir; I am shocked and appalled that Heinz has pandered to reactionary, kneejerk complaints over the recent Deli Mayo 'gay kiss' ad. I am saddened that a company that purports to embrace diversity is pandering to the mindless homophobia of a small-minded minority.
I will not be buying Heinz products again until there is a reinstatement of this ad campaign on British TV, and an apology for what seems to be to be an endorsement of homophobia.
If you look on Facebook you will see more than 9,000 people have signed a petition requesting the return of the ad (compared with the few hundred ridiculous complaints).