We help M&S raise the steaks in beef traceability

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M&S has long been known for the quality of their food, but the incredible lengths they go to to source the absolute best is a story unlike any other.

They’re the only national retailer that can, in fact, trace all their beef not just to the farm, but to the very animal it came from. And this provenance claim is something they can apply to every single product that contains beef, from stock to lasagne to steaks.

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We worked with M&S to tell this compelling story of reassurance, quality and trust with a bold in-store campaign: ’We trace it so you can trust it’. With the beautifully shot premium photography M&S is known for, and compelling and direct copy, the campaign cuts straight to the quick to communicate this powerful and unique message.

Touchpoints include windows, freestanding display units, shelf edge barkers and wobblers. The campaign runs nationwide in every store throughout summer 2018 and is accompanied by radio, press and TV.

Author

Sean Dwyer

What can the UK learn from New Zealand’s Farro Fresh?

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This month, our Jo reports from New Zealand, where Farro Fresh is changing the way Kiwis shop for groceries…

As a Kiwi living in London for the past ten years and working in the creative industry for retailers the past four, it’s become increasingly interesting to look at the comparisons between the UK and New Zealand grocery shopping experience. While New Zealand does have the equivalent of Sainsbury’s and Tesco, there’s been a significant demand for cleaner, fresher and more sustainable produce, made evident by a marked increase in organic farms.

Back in 2006, a small family business was established in Auckland, with a team of just 12 people fuelled by a desire to create a retail space that showcases the very best of New Zealand food. 12 years later, Farro Fresh has over 400 staff and five stores, each one paying homage to the best local producers of the country.

There’s a high quality organic ‘farm feel’ to every store as soon as you walk in: busy but controlled (which is essentially what a farm is, organised chaos) with exposed beams and high ceilings instantly transporting you to barns in the countryside where everything serves a purpose. From the cheese stalls offering fresh samples, to the coffee bars where you can get a caffeine hit before starting your shop, and the butcher serving fresh organic cuts straight from the farm… the flow of the store gives the impression you are taking a journey through a farm yard and as a result it really feels like you’re buying a higher quality of food.

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Breaking away from the generic own brands found in standard supermarkets, Farro’s vision concentrates on start-up, Kiwi-run food businesses which need a helping hand to get their products onto shelves. The products are sourced from throughout the country and have a real artisan look and feel… however this does mean that there is a price tag to match. They’re merchandised beautifully, with strong premium connotations such as chalk boards and inspirational displays on wooden crates, and these are nicely balanced with personality coming through from cute illustrations and tone of voice. The entire store feels genuine and is backed up by the passionate staff who work there. Nothing’s too much trouble, they’re eager to share their knowledge… and to give free tasters!

Farro has gone from strength to strength based on the quality of ingredients, brands, customer service, shopping experience and – it must be said – support of locals. Regardless of whether you’re doing your weekly shop, it’s become a destination for any Kiwi foodie seeking fresh inspiration. So if you find yourself in the City of Sails, drop in, you won’t be disappointed!

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Things we love:

The Farro Food kits. Pre-packed food bags with ingredients for three meals feeding either 2 or 4 people along with a recipe designed by Farro’s in-house chefs. Hand-picked and delivered on the same day ready to be cooked that night.

The Farro Hampers. In each store they provide a wooden box where you can build your own bespoke hampers. Great for a foodie’s birthday or all those Christmas treats!

Cook-along with a Farro chef. On the website, you can choose from an array of different recipes and cook along with one of the Farro chefs. Great for fresh meal inspiration!

Keeping New Zealand green. Compostable bags, made from 100% plant-based materials are currently being tested as clean green replacements to the plastic carrier bag.

Author

Sean Dwyer

Sainsbury’s: On the Go in Pimlico

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We have to be honest, we’ve not noticed anything radical or exciting from Sainsbury’s in terms of formats for a while. So it was with interest that we popped into the newly revamped store in Pimlico being dubbed as a ‘market store’.

From the offset this store impresses and marks a different approach for the retailer. The large glass windows provide a first look at the ‘On the Go’ offering which is cleverly located front and right of the store entrance, allowing customers who want to grab and go the space and option to do so quickly and efficiently without battling trolleys and baskets in the main store.

Once in the ‘On the Go’ section there’s a number of options including fresh sushi, hot food and pizza, the usual sandwiches and also a Crussh concession. The space is open, airy and easy to navigate, offering simple seating and self checkouts to help speed up payment. We visited at 3.30pm on a Thursday and the area was busy, most noticeably with younger customers and after-school kids, which must be a new demographic for the retailer.

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If you don’t want a pizza made from scratch, there’s a hot unit selling slices of ready made pizza, pasties and ready to go microwave meals. Admittedly, we didn’t see anyone buying made to order pizzas but it adds theatre – the neon signage helping to attract customers in from the street.

The main store (located behind ‘On the Go’) has also been given a revamp with a couple of stand out elements. The alcohol section is pretty impressive with ceiling-high, crate-style graphics, simple wooden fixtures and navigation reminiscent of wine and beer labels. There is also one end dedicated to ‘no and low’ alcohol proving that Sainsbury’s is listening to the trend developing amongst younger generations.

Sainsbury’s is also doing a great job (and always has done in our opinion) of promoting its ‘Free From’ range with a dedicated aisle that taps into customers’ increasing desire for a restricted diet of one kind or another.

The bakery section is also impressive adding a layer of personality with graphics positioned above the counter offering ‘gluten free loaves’ and ‘celebration cakes’ in a handwritten chalkboard style.

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The rest of the store feels slick and shiny, but it’s the ‘On the Go’ offering that stands out the most. It’ll be interesting to see if it gets replicated or evolved in other stores. But for now, top marks Sainsbury’s – we like!

Author

Sean Dwyer

‘Tis the reason to be jolly with Iceland

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It’s Christmas! And what a joy to see our Christmas campaign for Iceland go live this week. Eight executions of print ads nationwide, combining beautiful photography and a warm tone of voice to tempt customers with the delicious Luxury range, plus a stunning 16 page media insert in the weekend papers. Look out for the second insert in December. And if we can give you one tip… the Luxury Pavlova is to die for…

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Author

Sean Dwyer

The times, they are a-changing

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It’s eight years since Waitrose introduced their Essential range, which has since become the mainstay of many a shopping trolley in middle England and has done well to shift the high price tag perception of the brand.

But 2017 is not the same as 2009, and in a world where halloumi, artichokes and ironing water are now (apparently) considered ‘essential’ by many consumers, and the German discounters continue to spring up in every town, Waitrose has refreshed the range with a two-pronged strategy.

Firstly, they’ve introduced around 300 new products to take account of our changing tastes, and secondly, they’ve dropped the price on hundreds of existing Essential products. They’re campaigning the refreshed range heavily (more on that shortly)… but it got us wondering, who exactly is this move aimed at?

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Is it to reassure the hardcore Waitrose shopper (who is no doubt flirting heavily with Lidl and Aldi, probably somewhere in the Luxury aisles) that there’s no need to go elsewhere? Certainly it seems that way when you you dig a little deeper into the new campaign messaging: ‘at the heart of our essential range is the belief you shouldn’t have to compromise your standards’. Ouch.

The ‘new lower prices’ part of Waitrose’s strategy certainly back this up… because when you’re buying halloumi every week, you’d surely welcome a permanent 30p price drop…

Or is the campaign trying to attract the steadfast Lidl and Aldi customers who have so far never shopped at Waitrose? And if so, how likely are these customers – loyal to the discounters for price over quality – to give Waitrose a try? Particularly when the halo perception of the brand remains undoubtedly ‘posh’?

The answer is probably, both. And as such, it’s a canny move from Waitrose. Plus we do commend their brilliantly simple campaign creative. A clean white background with single hero products, and a simple rectangular device for messaging and price all cleverly matches the pared back nature of the products in the range. Nice work Waitrose.

Author

Sean Dwyer

Autumn comes early, thanks to Iceland

We had a great day yesterday with the Iceland team at their Autumn product launch in London. Chef and Head of Product Development Neil Nugent was getting busy in the kitchen, whipping up culinary delights that showcased the fantastic new range of tasty foods. Stars of the show? Got to be the Frozen Avocado (try it breaded and deep fried!) and the Argentinian Red Shrimp. Oh, and the tuna served on a bed of cauliflower cous cous.. Oh and the paella, and come to think of it the gnocchi was amazing too… Keep an eye out for the new range coming to Iceland soon!

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Author

Sean Dwyer

Happy Easter! We’ve been out and about to see how the supermarkets are campaigning the celebrations this year.

We saw some nice photographic treatments (step up Waitrose), great window theatre (come in M&S) and even some pretty good puns (Lidl, we’re talking to you), but easter bonnets off to the Co-op with their ‘Be a good egg this Easter’ campaign. Celebrating those people who put others first, the emphasis is much more on giving rather than getting; a charitable touch that really sets them apart. Nice tie in with Absolute Radio too, with a competition to win £1,000 by nominating a good egg. We think it’s just eggsellent (sorry).
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Author

Sean Dwyer

A fresh new look for Iceland’s Bonus Card and Delivery service

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We’ve been busy giving Iceland’s delivery service and loyalty scheme a brand new look and feel, and are excited to see it launch this week!

Bonus Card gives customers the opportunity to load money onto a card to spend later, and offers a great way to save up and spread the cost for Christmas or a special occasion. It has the added ‘bonus’ that Iceland gives the customer £1 for every £20 they load onto the card. On top of this, cardholders get free Home Delivery when they spend over £20 in store. A great scheme indeed!

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We’ve given the proposition a new look and feel with a warmer graphic style and iconography, and simplified the messaging. With the new ‘more instant’ comms, there’s no doubting the ease of Iceland’s delivery proposition, and the great benefits Bonus Card gives.

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Author

Sean Dwyer

Deliciously Christmas at Iceland

We’re bringing some Iceland magic to the readers of premium food magazines and weekend newspapers this month with a suite of leaflets to inspire their Christmas. Two inserts in Olive and Good Food magazine surprise, delight and tempt customers with the very best of Iceland’s luxury range and introduce their award-winning Head Chef, Neil Nugent.

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Meanwhile two editorial-style 8-page leaflets inserted into the Mail on Saturday show customers how to impress their guests with a whole range of award-winning Christmas and party foods.  Luxury Lobster Thermidor anyone?

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Author

Sean Dwyer

Iceland’s exciting new store opens in Clapham

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We’re thrilled to see all our hard work for Iceland come to fruition this week with the grand (re)opening of the Clapham refitted and modernised store.

The project’s been a labour of love for the Whippet team since July. It’s seen us completely overhaul the store from the fascia to the flooring and the freezers to the fixtures, as well as create all outdoor media and a completely new kit of comms including value, promotion, brand and service communication.

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The design treatment displays a new, brighter colour palette and lifestyle photography, as well as a friendlier, more human tone of voice. Integral to the messaging throughout is Iceland’s brand proposition, Power of Frozen, which communicates the many benefits of buying frozen food, including nutritional value, quality, convenience and the positive impact on wastage and household budgets. A bigger, bolder fascia and an impactful run of digital screens appear at the front of the store – a first for Iceland – and for the kids (ok, and the adults too) a musical ice cream freezer; open the door and it’s just like when the ice cream van comes!

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We’ve already heard that customers love the new store so if you live in London, or are just passing through, pop in, grab a Lavazza coffee and be amazed at the transformation!

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Author

Sean Dwyer

Aldi, but not as we know it

Always keen to know what’s going on in the grocery sector elsewhere in the world, we asked our colleagues at Whippet Australia to pay a visit to Aldi, and we were blown away by their new in-store look and feel. They may be openly value-focussed but they’re upping their game. Simple illustrations and a tone of voice with bags of personality, they’re striking the balance between value and quality brilliantly. Definitely one to watch.

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Author

Sean Dwyer

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