. The company overhauled its meat range earlier this year after research revealed nearly half its customers were not regularly buying into the category.
Since then, there has been a modest rise in sales, but the results have not been as spectacular as might have been hoped for. However, Phil Punter, poultry buyer with Musgrave Budgens Londis (MBL), said they had not expected overnight success: "Sales are moving forward, the value packs we've put in are performing very well and that's something we're going to address further."
He said MBL had seen a sales increase of around 3%, although some products were performing better than others. The key to moving forward would now be retailer education. He added: "That's the next step. We've got all the tools, we just need to equip our retailers." The changes introduced to Budgens' meat category included the introduction of tiering, along the lines of good, better, best, as well as a reduction in the number of lines, with around 22 underperforming SKUs stripped out.
"The range was just too big," said Punter. A further eight new lines were then added to improve choice and persuade consumers to trade up. A variety of planograms were also drawn up to improve the instore offer.
"We had to convince the retailers that the planograms were not going to generate wastage," said Punter. A key factor behind the change was the fact research revealed the retailer needed to up its activity on communicating the quality and provenance of its meat and poultry. To boost provenance, meat is now packaged as British, rather than English, and the sourcing has been reinforced in the 'better' range by the use of on-pack photographs of some of the farmers who supply Budgens.