Sainsbury’s is set to phase out multi-buy promotions across its grocery business by August 2016 in a bid to help cut household food waste.
Sainsbury’s is the first UK retailer to make changes of this scale, and it says the move help lower regular prices.
The commitment by Sainsbury’s to phase out multi-buy promotions extends across its full range of branded and own-brand soft drinks, confectionery, biscuits and crisps.
Since March 2015 Sainsbury’s has removed more than 50% of multi-buy promotions from its grocery business in favour of lower regular prices, which it says customers have responded well to.
“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”
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 average UK household with children spends £700 per year on food that could be eaten, but is instead thrown away, according to WRAP figures.
A Sainsbury’s recent YouGov research showed 81% of families of four believe they throw away less than £30 worth of food a month, when they waste nearly double that at £58.30 a month, on average. There is a clear “food waste gap” in the UK, the retailer says – 93% of Britons believe they waste less than five meals a month, when on average they waste double that, at 11 meals per month.
Sainsbury’s Food Commercial Director, Paul Mills-Hicks, said: “Customer shopping habits have changed significantly in recent years, with people shopping more frequently – often seeking to buy what they need at that moment in time. By replacing multi-buy promotions with lower regular prices, we are making it easier for customers to buy the products they need, in the quantities they need, without having to buy multiple items to enjoy great value.
“Since we started simplifying our pricing approach we’ve seen a much greater variety of products in our customers’ baskets, signalling that they like the flexibility to make their own choices.”