Dairy top performer in autumn availability survey

By Elaine Watson

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Ecr uk Supply chain Supermarket

Dairy top performer in autumn availability survey
Dairy was the top performing category in the latest ECR UK on-shelf availability survey, achieving 97.91% availability in an audit at the leading supermarkets conducted during October 14-20 compared with 96.2% in October 2009 and 96.33% in October 2008.

Dry goods acheived 97.54%, followed by fresh food at 97.54%, frozen food at 96.32% and bakery at 95.17%. Overall availability was 97.06% compared with 96.8% in October 2009 and 96.3% in October 2008.

Sunday was the best day of the week for well-stocked shelves at 97.78%, while Scotland was the best performing area.

Asda: give us more shelf-life

The results were released as Asda challenged suppliers to give it more retained shelf-life​ on chilled food and announced its ambition​ to make its ambient and frozen supply chain as ‘responsive’ as its fresh food delivery system.

The retailer, which wants suppliers to deliver seven days a week, is also mid-way through a comprehensive ‘economic order quantity review’ to assess whether it is ordering appropriate quantities of stock into its distribution centres.

A review of purchase order cut-off times for suppliers and allocation cut-off times for depots had also identified further opportunities for ‘code life improvements’, said Asda's supply chain director Gavin Chappell.

Increased promotional activity

Karen Chalmers, senior supply chain analyst at grocery think tank IGD, told FoodManufacture.co.uk that availability had improved in all categories since the ECR UK survey began in 2004 but that uncertainty caused by unpredictable weather and an increase in promotional activity meant there was no room for complacency.

“In the current environment we are seeing more promotions and deeper price cut activity and often these take place at short notice.”

How the survey works

The OSA survey is conducted six times a year by Logobrand on behalf of ECR UK, and tracks availability across 200 branded and own-label products in 160 Sainsbury, Waitrose, Tesco, Morrisons and Asda stores.

By completing audits on different days of the week, at different times of day and in different parts of the country, the survey is designed to reflect differences within the full trading period and area.

The checks are carried out by trained auditors, who record if a product is on sale and, where it is unavailable, whether there is an 'out of stock' label at the shelf-edge.

ECR UK is a programme led by supply chain directors from leading food and grocery retailers and manufacturers and is managed by IGD.

Click here​ to access the ECR UK guide to improving availability on promotions.

Click here​ to read about improvements to availability at Lactalis-Nestlé Chilled Dairy UK.

Related topics Supply Chain Dairy

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