Co-op relaunch sees own-label bread sales double

The Co-operative says sales of its own-label bread have doubled since it was relaunched and lowered to 75p.

Sales of the ‘Loved by Us’ Farmhouse and Sandwich/Toasting loaves in both white and wholemeal have reached 2.5 million.

The Co-op said it had measured the four weeks of sales post-relaunch compared with the four weeks before.

The relaunch of The Co-operative Food’s Farmhouse loaf is part of a major push on own-brand products, which will see over 3,800 lines being relaunched by the end of this year.

Steve Murrells, chief executive, retail, said: “The Co-operative was historically known for the quality of its own-brand produce and, as part our food strategy, we are dramatically improving our own brand offer once more. We offer the best-value loaf in Britain in terms of price and quality and the sales we have seen show customers are right behind us.”

The Co-op said its bread range forms a part of a “halo” set of own-brand lines, including pies, sandwiches, pizzas and ready meals, which have all been relaunched under the ‘Loved by Us’ banner and are all seeing double-digit like-for-like sales growth.

The company has invested heavily in its ‘Loved by Us’ category in recent months, with a rigorous tasting and sampling process being led by the group’s development and innovation chef and a team of food specialists, product developers and technical managers. The team are now 50% through the own-brand relaunch programme, with 1,750 lines introduced so far in 2014.

Reduced prices

Also, as part of the revamp of its own lines, The Co-op has reduced prices as part of a £100m price investment, and almost 1,000 stores will see major refits during the year. The company will also open 100 convenience stores at the same time.

Murrells added: “The steps we are taking are focused on delivering for our customers and giving them what they want – quality products at great prices in a convenient location. We still have much to do, but the customer reaction gives us a great deal of confidence.”

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