After the excesses of the Christmas festivities, January is associated with debt and diet. To manufacturers of frozen ready meals, this has become a key sales period for consumers who looking for value, convenience and low calorie food.
The old mantra is don’t discount when there is huge demand and this seems to be the case here, with only 7% of the category on promotion - much lower than the average for other categories.
Across the six retail groups, 9% of promotional skus were recorded as low on stock compared with a 22% average across all categories since 2003. However, the picture for non-promotional lines is not so good - with 15% of skus affected by poor availability.
Sainsbury has the largest range of products on offer and also the most products on promotion. Peak time availability drops to 16% for normal lines and to 15% for promotional lines.
Safeway, with 20%, has the highest level of non-promotional lines at risk. This contrasts markedly with its performance for promotional lines, which is one of the lowest at 5%.
Morrisons has similarities with Safeway in this category, with 17% of non-promotional skus affected by poor availability and a low 4% of promotional products at risk.
Asda has twice the number of products on promotional offer than the average and turns in a good performance for both promotional products (at 11%) and normal lines (at 10%). Its cost-conscious customers will be pleased with the availability of frozen ready meals on promotion: over the year Asda has had 24% of promotional skus out of or low on stock at peak shopping times across categories.
Tesco does better than normal for promotional availability, scoring 12% against the 21% it recorded over the past year. For brands not on promotion, 16% are at risk.
Somerfield carries the smallest range but has the most products on promotion - at 15% - and should take credit for low level of 9% of skus on promotion at risk and 8% of normal lines.