More to life than the weekly shop says the Co-op

The Co-op has a new ad out (courtesy of TBWA Manchester) that uses the line ‘Great food within easy reach’ to suggest that you don’t necessarily have to waste a chunk of every weekend trudging round the supermarket:

I’ve come to the conclusion that we don’t shop at supermarkets because we want to – we visit Tesco, Asda, Morrisons or Sainsbury’s because we think we have to.

Grocery shopping is considered a chore.  Very few of us have the time or inclination to buy our meat from the butchers, bread from the bakers and our veg from the greengrocers.  And as a result, few of us actually have a decent choice of butchers, bakers and greengrocers on our doorsteps anymore.  We just wheel a trolley into the nearest megastore along with the rest of the country.

Interestingly, this is in contrast to the farmer’s market / deli experience of topping up with a few indulgent (and accordingly priced) bits and pieces as a designated leisure activity.  My fairly middle class village has lost its greengrocer and baker but now sports a full-blown shabby-chic deli complete with dedicated olive counter and it’s only a matter of time before we get a farmer’s market too (edit: a monthly farmer’s market arrived in September 2012…).

But aside from that, as a nation we mostly seem to hate food shopping.  In fact, one research respondent last year told me they chose to shop in Booths (a kind of Northern Waitrose) because the smaller store, lack of screaming kids and no muzak “makes shopping bearable”.  They went on to say that “shopping isn’t supposed to be a battleground” and that they were in the fortunate position of being able to pay a little more for their weekly shop and have a less stressful experience in return.

It’s all very well for marketing agencies to be merrily working on promotions that deliver an enhanced in-store experience at the supermarket or even the dreaded ‘retailtainment’, but perhaps we need to remember that the majority of trolley-pushers will not exactly be in an upbeat frame of mind.  Brands offering Perkonomics type services that make the shopping experience more bearable could be well placed for 2011.

By the way, have you seen the new Morrisons Price Crunch ad?  It looks like they made it with the spare change they found down the back of the sofa after Christmas:

Biggest Ever Price Crunch

3 thoughts on “More to life than the weekly shop says the Co-op

  1. I feel it necessary to make a few points on this new campaign by the “local” Co-operative that graces every town and city in the U.K.

    Firstly let’s get one thing straight, Co-Op is a large and successful supermarket that has contributed to the death of local businesses. I acknowledge that they do not have a monopoly comparable to Tesco’s and they are not as unethical but you get the idea, branding themselves as a deviant knight in shining armour will not pass.

    Co-op are no different from other supermarkets with regards to promotions, they have a marketing team that works and changes the products that are to be promoted on a regular basis. While I could rant on forever I have better things to do, the point that I wanted to make is that this whole campaign offers no explanation as to how people are meant to have more free time by shopping in brief bursts instead of one weekly shop, it’s obvious that the fat cats chez-eux have cottoned on to the fact that through entering the store more than once a week a person is far more likely to buy more products because very few people will be willing to make a single purchase of one item as they need other things. Whether you enter the supermarket as a lone father in a rush or a family the screaming kids and cues will always be there at peak hours, it would be more practical to suggest going to do the big weekly shop at a time when less people are likely to be there.

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