Sainsbury’s ditches ‘BOGOF’ sales to ease food waste

Sainsbury's has announced that it is scrapping multi-buy promotions across its food retail outlets in an effort to ease growing customer concerns about food waste and price logistics.

As the first UK retailer to announce a promotional change at this scale, Sainsbury’s will combat the multi-buy and buy-one-get-one-free (BOGOF) phase-out in August 2016 by lowering regular prices.

Sainsbury’s marketing director Sarah Warby, said: “Careful management of household budgets, a growing awareness of the cost of food waste and more health-conscious living has driven a trend away from multiple product purchasing towards more single item purchasing.

“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.

“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.”

The phase-out extends to a full range of branded and Sainsbury’s own brand fresh produce, soft drinks, biscuits, confectionery and crisps. Around 99% of food promotions are expected to be scrapped, but Sainsbury’s is waiting on feedback before deciding on products such as vitamins and supplements.

Since March 2015, Sainsbury’s has removed more than 50% of multi-buy promotions from food retail and replaced them with lower regular prices, which the retailer says customers have responded well to.

Food waste gap

A recent YouGov research report commissioned by Sainsbury’s found that 81% of families of four believe they throw away less than £30 of food per month, when the actual figure is around double that, at more than £58 per month.

WRAP has also estimated that a household with children spends £700 on food that is wasted. It forms part of the ‘food waste gap’ that reveals that the average British person wastes 11 meals per month – despite 93% believing that they only waste five.

Sainsbury’s is investing £1m in a market town in Derbyshire to trial new food waste initiatives which could halve the town’s waste.

Swadlincote will embark on a year-long project to test new waste-saving ideas and technology, including fridges that warn users when food is beginning to go off, advice giving bins and incentives programmes to encourage recycling.

Last month at edie’s inaugural Sustainability Skills Workshop Sainsbury’s head of sustainability Paul Crewe revealed that the company used store trials and successes as a way to promote sustainability and share its story.

Matt Mace

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