Co-op impressing convenience store shoppers

Date : 23 October 2019

There is a lot to be grateful for working at IGD. Whether it is the great colleagues, the lovely countryside setting or the tasty lunches.

I am also lucky to be able see first-hand some of the great innovation taking place in the food and grocery industry.

Our Retail Analysis online service includes visits to almost 1,000 stores in 50 countries every year. As part of our ShopperVista online service, we talk to thousands of British food and grocery shoppers every year to help keep our members in touch with the pulse of the nation.

We look in depth at retailers and shoppers across different channels.

I just want to pick out the work that Co-op are doing to drive innovation within the convenience channel and how this is now really shifting shopper perceptions of the retailer in a clearly measurable way.

I specialise in looking at the convenience channel and look forward to sharing my latest thoughts on the channel at the convenience retailing stream, part of IGD Live on 6th-7th November.

Appealing to food-to-go shoppers

IGD Live will include five great theme events, one of which is Food-to-Go.

Leading with its major focus on this opportunity, Co-op’s new On the Go format has really impressed us as a milestone in building the retailer’s credentials in the category. The store excels in meeting the needs of city-centre locations and the needs of the working populations of nearby businesses and their daily commuter flows. It packs considerable capability into just 1,200 sq ft living up to its ‘On the Go’ designation, with credible options to meet shoppers’ needs and occasions throughout the working day.

Moreover, our latest ShopperVista data shows that Co-op shoppers are clearly buying into this focus with food-to-go missions in Co-op stores significantly up this year.

Driving up private label quality standards

Aiming to increase private label penetration from 40% to 60%, Co-op has been investing extensively in building ranges that match market leaders for quality and innovation. Overall the total private label range has now reached over 3,000 SKUs.

Showcasing private label quality

Source: IGD Retail Analysis

Examples from our visit to the Co-op Chiswell Green store, shows that ranging has been adjusted to ensure relevance to the relative affluence of the location, and its more aspirational customers.

Notably the store provides an upweighted representation of the Co-op premium private label range ‘Irresistible’, as well as specific ‘on trend’ lines such as triple cooked chips.

Shoppers impressed with Co-op quality

Source: IGD ShopperVista;, Jul-Sep’19

And indeed shoppers are liking what they see. Our latest ShopperVista research shows that Co-op are satisfying shoppers ahead of the market across many measures, and on quality above all.

Standing out for sustainability

Shoppers impressed with Co-op's ethical focus

Source: IGD Retail Analysis; IGD ShopperVista;, Jul-Sep’19

One of Co-ops’ trading priorities is to provide ethical leadership, believing that ethical and healthy products should be available to everyone.

We’ve seen this clearly to the fore over the summer, at Co-op’s pop-up store at the Latitude Festival. The environmental impact of festivals is a growing priority to organisers and visitors. Co-op increased the focus, capacity and processes around recycling plastics. This included a deposit return scheme for plastic bottles. Co-op also pulled forward the release of their biodegradable wipes especially for the festival season.

More than half of convenience store shoppers agree that Co-op has a better choice of higher ethical products.

And you can be sure that Co-op wants to work with more suppliers that specifically share its high ethical and environmental standards.

Here more from Co-op at IGD Live

Among the 120 speakers at IGD Live, hear more about Co-op’s strategy from: 

Jo Whitfield
Retail Chief Executive

Chris Conway
Head of
Digital and Ecommerce

Ben Kisby
Head of
Category Development

Nicole Tallant
Category Trading Manager of
Food To Go & Bakery

Michael Freedman

Michael Freedman

Senior Shopper Insight Manager

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