Last week in the Grocer, it was reported that back in 1988, branded NPD more than doubled. It certainly does not feel like that in 2013.
Ranges seem to have been cut back and consumers are getting far more pared down ranges and choices. Although purse strings are more pressured, I don’t feel that this is what consumers are really after.
They want to enjoy accessible and indulgent foods. They need ranges to experiment with, new things to try, brands to inspire them and reconnect with on an emotional level once more after so much scrimping.
They definitely aren’t seeking the restriction and rationalisation that they are being offered at the moment.
Enough of the restricted choice ranges - it’s time for more and better choices. Retailers should be encouraging destination shopping via exclusive ranges and ownership of exciting new categories and segments.
” Enough restricted choice - it’s time for more and better choices”
People are hunting out greater indulgence and inspiration, something that takes their fancy and they can try just for a change.
Brands and own-label ranges should be grasping the nettle and looking to gain advantage through true differentiation using excitement and unique offerings, not just more of the same. They should be creating a thrilling environment and shopping experience in store that shoppers can’t wait to get back to.
Despite being a lover of shopping in an actual store, I am starting to find the whole thing a bit boring. I fancy something different, but shopping in a Tesco, as I often do, I am uninspired.
The announcement that Tesco intends to comprehensively upgrade and add 2,000 new lines to its standard own-label ranges spanning 8,000 products is music to my ears. I can’t wait to see what it launches.
Shouldn’t other retailers be improving their own label ranges, not just by imitating more of the ranges brands offer, but with fresh and insightful new concepts in store, new ways for people to buy and browse?
Shouldn’t they be asking suppliers not just for tweaks on the existing, but for some of those really juicy breakthroughs that reflect changing demand and meet new untapped needs?
I may be wrong, but it feels that even Waitrose with its great eye for innovation and inspiring SKU reinvention needs to grow new categories, not just product ranges.
All of the biggies seem to just have their own slant on what everyone else does, not enough new and aspirational stuff.
Choice, inspiration and excitement - we all want it. Surely it can’t be that hard to give us more of what we want? Away with austerity NPD, give us a bit more inspiration please.
Claire Nuttall is founding partner of Thrive