Sainsbury says bye bye to multi-buy promos

By Laurence Gibbons

- Last updated on GMT

Sainsbury has axed multi-buy promotions
Sainsbury has axed multi-buy promotions

Related tags Nutrition Price Value Sainsbury

Sainsbury will phase out multi-buy promotions by August 2016, after a survey found shoppers felt they were out of step with attitudes towards waste, health and value.

The move will allow Sainsbury’s customers to buy the products at affordable prices every day not just when they were on offer, the retailer claimed.

Multi-buy promotions will still be offered to consumers at certain times of the year, Sainsbury confirmed.

Cost and health-conscious consumers, combined with a growing awareness of the cost of food waste has driven a trend away from multiple product purchasing towards more single item purchasing, Sainsbury’s marketing director Sarah Warby said.

Don’t meet shopping needs

“We have listened to our customers who have told us that multi-buy promotions don’t meet their shopping needs today, are often confusing and create logistical challenges at home in terms of storage and waste,”​ she said.

“The commitment we are announcing today will make it easier for customers to shop for the products they love, when and how they choose, safe in the knowledge that they are getting the best value for money all of the time.”

Sainsbury’s shopper survey – what we learnt

  • Shoppers can feel they are spending more than they need to
  • Promotions lead to overbuying and waste
  • Multi-buys lead to overspending
  • Multi-buys force shoppers to consider value  

Consumers generate 4.2Mt of avoidable food waste each year, with the average UK household with children throwing away £700 worth of food a year, according to the Waste & Resources Action Programme.

The decision comes off the back of a “significant”​ change in the way people shop, Sainsbury’s food commercial director Paul Mills-Hicks claimed.

Easier and flexible

“By replacing multi-buy promotions with lower regular prices, we are making it easier for customers to buy the products they need, in the quantities they need, without having to buy multiple items to enjoy great value,”​ he said.

“Since we started simplifying our pricing approach we’ve seen a much greater variety of products in our customers’ baskets, signalling that they like the flexibility to make their own choices.”

Sainsbury’s customers have responded positively to the gradual removal of multi-buys over the past 12 months in favour of lower regular prices, he added.

Since March 2015 Sainsbury has removed more than 50% of multi-buy promotions from its grocery business.

Public health minister Jane Ellison praised Sainsbury’s decision to help make the healthy choice the easy choice.

“As part of our Childhood Obesity Strategy we will be looking at more ways in which we can support people to live healthier lives,”​ she said.

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