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Unleash customer data

Sir, It was no surprise to read the forecast for an extraordinary 36.7% discounter growth over the next five years. Their winning combination of low price and high quality has many of the traditional supermarkets stumped as to how to compete.

The answer lies in unleashing the power of customer data to drive ‘mass personalisation’. One-to-many offers have long been ineffective, failing to take individual customer traits and behaviours into account. Today, retailers must consider what customer information they have at their disposal and how it can be used to deliver an irresistible customer experience.

This remains a largely untapped opportunity in the supermarket sector, and one that could prove vital in closing the gap between discounters and the competition.

David Buckingham, CEO, Ecrebo

Tesco’s Brand Guarantee

Sir, Tesco’s choice to scrap its Brand Guarantee offer and focus on own brand promotions is likely to impact the sales of many household brands in stores.

Customer loyalty is harder than ever to come by. Without Tesco’s offer, brands on the shelves are going to have to find other ways to keep consumers reaching for their product.

It’s all about standing out from the crowd and delivering that wow factor - brands will need to put their heads together and think of new ways to engage with consumers.

Chris Baldwin, director of consumer promotions and loyalty at Sodexo Engage

Glyphosate clarification

Sir, For the Organics Council to claim ‘widespread contamination of a carcinogenic pesticide in organic grain and cereal products sold in UK supermarkets’ from three samples is a huge exaggeration.

Some basic facts are also wrong. The maximum residue limit (MRL) for glyphosate in wheat flour is 10mg/kg - not 0.01mg/kg and EU member states did not vote in December 2017 to ban the use of glyphosate in conventional farming, domestic products and phase out the use of glyphosate agriculturally over the next five years. The licence was in fact granted for five years (no phase-out).

It is concerning that any ­pesticides are found in organic products. We must move to other ways of farming, less ­reliant on pesticides.

Martin Sawyer, chief executive, Soil Association Certification