Thatchers cider

Sales of Thatchers cider products have soared through Co-op stores thanks to the use of new data-sharing technology.

The Co-op installed a new Skutrak system in April, and used it this summer to deliver daily supply chain insight to its entire grocery supply base. 

Thatchers’ use of the data sharing saw a 22% uplift in sales of its nine SKUs between May and August. 

The sales uplift came at a time when many beverage suppliers were struggling with the CO2 crisis. 

“We did have a few availability issues, despite this, but our supplier availability did not drop below 98% [at the Co-op],” said Thatchers off-trade & export sales director Chris Milton. “Skutrak was integral to our analysis and decision-making process and conversations with the Co-op supply chain team.”

“Traditional buyer-seller relationships have always revolved around two or three different versions of the truth that could be interpreted in different ways depending on the conversation the retailer wanted to have with you. 

“But this enabled us to make collaborative, meaningful business decisions with the Co-op, using the exact same information.” 

Despite the Co-op making the Skutrack system freely available to all its suppliers at the beginning of July “in a spirit of improved collaboration,” a spokeswoman for Atheon, which supplies Skutrak, said not many suppliers used the data. She explained that there was “a challenge to get them to recognise how powerful it was if used well”.

“If the supermarkets made better data available, and more manufacturers used it, then we would see huge improvements in reduced wastage, better availability and increased sales across the board,” she said.

The data shared between retailer and supplier includes: sales, stock and service.