Cut sugar and salt, Mars
Sir, Whilst it’s transparent of Mars Foods to declare that certain products in its range are only suitable for consumption once a week (‘Mars introduces ‘occasional’ label in healthy eating drive,’ 19 April, p4), it could tackle the issue at its core by simply adjusting the recipes of the unhealthier items. Mars has also voiced its intention to add to its front-of-pack labelling to make product nutritional details even clearer, which is admirable, but cutting salt and sugar in its products would be a much more positive step.
Altering product recipes to reduce sugar and/or salt content need not be risky: brands have the opportunity to sample alterations with consumer segments to ensure they resonate positively, enabling them to strike a balance and develop delicious products that don’t risk people’s health. As much as Mars Foods needs to appease lobby groups, it also needs to take direction from the consumer.
Hannah Campbell, operations director, The Work Perk
Sir, Last week’s unveiling of Lurpak’s new Spreadable Infusions range (‘Lurpak looks to save time and add flavour with new butter trio,’ 23 April, p55) was an interesting development following the failure of the brand’s Cook’s Range. Butter is firmly back on the table following a review of health advice last year, but it is still a product the masses overlook when they think about cooking. Changing one of the UK’s most basic food items is a promising move from the much-loved high-end brand, but it will be a challenge. In order to make its place in grocery baskets, Lurpak Infusion will not only have to change shopper behaviours in store but also shift consumer perceptions of butter in cooking occasions. While Cook’s Range seemed too niche, this new product will appeal to a growing audience seeking shortcuts to tasty homemade meals.
Jocelyn Turlan, integrated strategist, RPM
Sir, The recent promotional slowdown and the shift towards everyday low pricing is something we have been predicting for a while, and comes as no surprise.
However, there is a real risk that if all supermarkets offer the same low prices across the board, the opportunity for differentiation will be limited to none. This will have implications for customers who rely on the competitive nature of supermarkets to help them in their search for the best deals.
One way for supermarkets to stand out is with targeted loyalty campaigns, offering exclusive rewards that shoppers can’t wait to get their hands on and can’t find elsewhere.
Bryan Roberts, global insight director, TCC