Hot deals in supermarkets: ten-for-$10

December 14, 2011

Grocery stores aim to grow baskets, sharpen price image, and emulate the impulse feel of dollar stores with these specific deals.

With ten-for-$10 promotions, supermarkets mimic the feel of one of their growing rivals – dollar stores, which have raised their trips per household to 13 in mid-2011, up from 11 ten years earlier. Over the same period, supermarkets have lost trips to multiple channels; households now shop there 57 times a year compared with 72 times in 2001, according to Nielsen Homescan data.??

Shoppers are so focused on price today, why wouldn’t supermarkets try to capture the fun, treasure-hunt feel of dollar stores with ten-for-$10 promotions? Over the past decade, the value impression of dollar stores has helped it increase household penetration more than any other retail channel except supercenters. Their aggressive expansion of food is also a key shaper of this trend:  Homescan data show dollar stores now have a 65% household penetration, up from 59% in 2001; supercenters grew to 73% from 51%; supermarkets went to 99% from 100%.??

Although ten-for-$10 promotions at many supermarkets don’t require a minimum purchase of ten, the language suggests that shoppers buy more and grows basket size. Since these deals also sharpen a retailer’s price image, they’re used widely.  ??

A separate analysis of ad comparisons by ECRM explores ten-for-$10 promotion activity that occurred during the first half of 2011. During this six-month period, the heaviest users of this deal structure were:  Jewel-Osco (1,818 such ads), Pick ‘n Save (982), Copps (967), Rainbow Foods-Fleming (946), Tops Markets (943), Weis Markets (881), Stop & Shop (858), Martin’s Super Markets (845), Giant Food Carlisle (822) and Giant Food Landover (800).??

The frequency of ten-for-$10 promotions was dramatically higher in a few categories than in the rest of the store. For example, beverages outpaced all others with 6,157 such ads. Canned foods followed on this leader board at 4,787. Next came dry and boxed foods (3,617), dairy (3,563), candy (3,455), frozen (3,405), snacks (1,830), condiments and dressings (1,248), fresh fruit (1,195), nutrition (1,190).??

ECRM then looked at sub-categories to identify activity more precisely. Beverage activity in ten-for-$10 promotions occurred primarily in non-carbonated beverages (2,093 such ads), carbonated soft drinks (1,904) and bottled water (1,540). Following these were:  candy-chocolate and assorted (1,466); rice, stuffing mixes and other side dishes (1,309); frozen prepared foods (1,193); nutrition bars (1,144); canned prepared foods (906); pasta (904); and boxed prepared foods (870).??

Of the Top 10 promoted brand names with this deal structure, three were private label, according to ECRM. Heading the list was Kroger brand (1,122 such ads), followed by Spartan (869), and in sixth-place America’s Choice (599). Leading the name-brand promotions of this type were Campbell’s (789), Gatorade (668), Chef Boyardee (653), Hunt’s (570), Del Monte (506), Hershey’s (473) and Vitamin Water (458).??

The Top 10 promoted items with this deal structure were:  Campbell’s Soup, 10.5-11.5 ounce (429 such ads); Glaceau Vitamin Water, 20 ounce (423); Gatorade, 32-ounce (360), Hunt’s Snack Pack Refrigerated Snacks, 4-pack (289); Mango, 1-pack (288); SoBe Life Water, 20 ounce (253); Chef Boyardee Canned Pasta, 14.5-15 ounce (246); Health Products, 1-pack (222); Healthy Choice Soup, 15 ounce (196); and Barilla Pasta, 12-16 ounce (195).