Sainsbury's Good food for all of us

Source: Sainsbury’s

The reshuffle follows the relaunch of Sainsbury’s marketing message in September

Sainsbury’s is to expand and restructure its in-house creative agency, as part of Simon Roberts’ renewed efficiency drive.

Zest, which was launched two years ago, will now take on a departmental structure. This will see it take a greater role in the brand messaging and creative direction of the marketing efforts behind Sainsbury’s, as well as Argos, Tu, Nectar, Habitat and newly launched EV charge division Smart Charge.

Sainsbury’s is currently recruiting for more than 30 new roles as part of the restructure, including in creative operations, design, production and account management.

The new department will be split across two teams. The Zest creative team, which will handle brands and customer engagement, will be based in Holborn, at its current HQ 33 Holborn. Its studio production team, which will handle production, filming, set design and logistics behind shoots, will work from offices in Milton Keynes and Bedford.

At the unveiling of Sainsbury’s Next Level Strategy, on 7 February, Roberts outlined plans to save a further £1bn in costs across the business over the next three years, as part of the next stage of its efficiency programme, which has been redubbed ‘Save and Invest to Win’. The efficiency savings would be reinvested back into the business, primarily into its food offer and stores.

The expansion of Zest would enable “more efficient ways of working” to help deliver its ambitions, Sainsbury’s said.

The supermarket did not confirm whether the expansion of Zest would see it end its work with its existing, and any new third-party creative partners. Its 2023 Christmas advert, which featured Rick Astley and a selection of Sainsbury’s staff exploring ‘what does Santa eat for Christmas Dinner’ was its first under a new partnership with agency New Commercial Arts.

The reshuffle follows the relaunch of Sainsbury’s marketing message in September. The slogan ‘Good Food For All of Us’ seeks to play up the health and value credentials of Sainsbury’s food, to reflect Roberts’ strategy to make its food offer the primary focus of the supermarket.

The Grocer understands one element of this will see a greater emphasis in stores, via PoS and other signage, of Sainsbury’s relationship with farmers and suppliers.

“Sainsbury’s Zest colleagues have the opportunity to flex their creative talent with some of the UK’s biggest and most coveted retail brands,” said Radha Davies, Sainsbury’s director of brands, planning and creative, “including household names like Sainsbury’s, Argos, Habitat and Tu, and the UK’s biggest loyalty brand, Nectar.

“We’ve also recently added Smart Charge to our portfolio, an exciting new ultra-rapid EV charging brand, which Sainsbury’s Zest conceived and created the branding for – offering colleagues the chance to work on growing and developing a new area of business,” Davies said.

Sainsbury’s had brought “a considerable amount” of its social, digital, design and production capability in house over the past couple of years, Davies said, adding that Zest had been one of Sainsbury’s “best-kept career secrets”.

“We’re now propelling into our next phase with the development of our in-house creative centre of excellence. With the launch of our Next Level Sainsbury’s last week, it’s safe to say Sainsbury’s Zest will be producing a range of exciting work over many years to come,” Davies added.