Consumer research showed that, although those buying Budgens fresh meat believed in its quality and value, more opportunities existed to increase the custmer base.
The research also highlighted a need to improve communication of the quality and provenance of Budgens' fresh meat and poultry products.
Budgens meat buyers with supplier, Kepak, carried out a strategy review which led to a complete overhaul of the category, addressing range, structure, quality, pricing, packaging and labelling. Fresh food category controller, Steve Carter, said: "One of the key areas for sales growth in Budgens is fresh meat and poultry. We tick all the boxes when it comes to provenance, but the audit of our meat business identified that customers were not expecting us to have a consistant and comprehensive range or a value offer, and our labels weren't communicationg the right messages.
"In fact, we are big enough to have all the due diligence and traceabiliy in place, but small enough to know our individual farmers."
The range has been rationalised with the introduction of 'good/better/best' tiering, the removal of some lines, and the addition of others to improve choice and encourage customers to trade up. Provenance has been broadened from English to British to allow the option fo Scottish-reared beef. The 'Good" range comproses competitively priced, fixed weight family packs and includes beef, lamb, pork and chicken. The existing own-label, fresh meat range has been rationalised and re-packaged focusing on provenance to create the 'Better' range.
Packaging is now in clear trays with new wrap-around labels featuring the farmers who rear the meat.
Budgens 'Best' meat and poultry range relates to breed and farming practices and includes the Lloyd Maunder 'Free Range' brand and organic fresh meat and poultry.
Customers can view the names and locations of all the supplier farmers.