Asda to focus on bakery and the south-east

Asda plans to focus on bakery and the shopping experience
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Supermarket giant Asda has announced a major focus on bakery as it focuses on expansion across London and the south-east. 

A large Asda store is set to open in Deptford, London in June and the company’s focus on ISB will see the section be placed at the front of the store.

Speakers at this week’s bakery suppliers conference in Leeds outlined plans going forward to ensure Asda repeats the “solid performance” of 2014 this year. This includes following in Tesco’s footsteps, which has recently culled products from its listings including Kingsmill sliced and Rachel’s yoghurt range, by also simplifying product ranges to make shopping easier.

Beverley McCauley, customer insight: insight planning manager, told delegates: “Bakery is tough and a struggle and bakery is in decline. ISB is the focus and there is much more to do on bakery. We need to keep innovation coming and continue to focus on quality.”

Making shopping easier

McCauley also outlined an ambition to deliver a “simpler” ISB and to “make cake shopping easier” for customers. She said the success of Asda’s celebration cakes TV campaign has delivered a result of a 24.6% market share while the cookies and biscuits category is performing well with 46% volume growth following price cuts.

Rolls and other bread alternatives claim a share of 14.1%; cream cakes command 14.8%; and puddings 8.4%.

McCauley said: “Where we are responding to changing customer demands, improving on quality and innovating we are seeing strong results. Savvy shopping is the new norm - that is here to stay.”

Asda is also launching the Fresh Project following research that revealed 73% of customers would be interested in a ‘try before you buy’ sampling process. Work is being done on the Asda pricing system to simplify the tiers and make shopping easier for customers.

Ruth Stead, head of product development - bakery and chilled, said: “Product stretch dilutes the existing brand and there is a lack of clear water between the tiers.”

Meanwhile, Emily Peck, senior buying manager, added: “Morning goods is a key focus for the simplification process - fewer lines, bigger volumes, more efficiency.”

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