Great Coffee From Your Local Supermarket

A big change is happening in the aisles of your local supermarket’s hot drink section. Gone are the days of instant coffee ruling the home market, as technology brings better quality to homes.

For many years, granules and powder have been the dominant seller to make coffee at home, with pre-ground alternatives being considered the ‘posh’ option for those who didn’t consider it too much of a luxury for the weekly food budget.

Now though, these foil packed ground coffee packs are under threat from their former selves, with some amazing deals on coffee beans. You can see from the popularity on Amazon and dedicated websites like the machines reviewed in the beantocupcoffeemachines.net guides, that more and more homes are now realising that their occasional Starbucks treat has slowly grown into a regular part of daily life, and an expensive one at that. Even if you’re only talking buying a cup once a week the bean to cup machines are an attractive alternative, perhaps eventually rendering the big chains obsolete in much the same way that the coffee shops of the eighties and nineties slowly declined.

The machines can create great coffee faster than many baristas manage in the well known stores, grinding the beans themselves or in specially designed add ons. You can see many of the best machines in the high street stores like the supermarkets and Currys and Argos, but the best prices are typically found on the web. By doing your research in the real stores to get a feel for what you like, you can then cross reference that with the sites created by experts on the web, and finally buy online at the cheapest retailer. Generally speaking, the contents of the box will be identical wherever you buy a product, so your coffee machine can be bought from any reputable source, making the price the ever important tie breaker!



Goodbye Brand Match

It’s amazing to think that it’s coming up on two years since we talked about the Sainsbury’s Brand Match voucher scheme, which helped customers to be sure that they weren’t being charged too much on branded goods compared to rival supermarkets. This month, we learned that the supermarket chain has decided to retire the initiative, to allow them to focus on simply providing better prices and promotions for their customers. They’ve also chosen to end the practice of multi buys, such as the buy one get one free style of promotions.

Perhaps Sainsburys are sensing an opportunity to move, with giant rivals Tesco seeming to be on the ropes after sufferring a tough couple of years. Of course, the news has told us that none of the big four are finding things easy – both Morrisons and Asda have also spoken of tough times, or challenging climates as they prefer to describe them.

The next moves of Sainsburys will no doubt be watched closely by analysts, many of whom are expecting further diversity away from their core grocery business. Perhaps a little deeper exploration into selling home technology will form part of their plans, as they’ve done relatively well in the home entertainment market, so a move into other areas of garden too may follow. For example, there’s a lot of growing interest in gadgets that can save homeowners a lot of time and effort in their chores, so emerging products like robotic lawn mowers may be an attractive move, as they’d be the first major chain to offer them, particularly in store. If you’ve not seen these amazing devices, check out a Flymo 1200R review which is the best seller for e-giants Amazon. This is a great example of meeting customer need, as Sainsburys tend to attract more affluent customers than the rest of the ‘big four’, who will be more likely to have larger gardens, and be able to afford the price tag, which is significantly more than a standard mower.

Getting more money in the tills is what is challenging the bosses of the supermarket chains, so these high ticket items may well be… well… just the ticket! They’re able to provide good profitability, and although the boxes are fairly large for the stores to handle, the profit in each unit sold is significantly greater than that of items like LCD TVs which are a very competitive range, as people are very price focused. With newer technology, people are limited in where they can buy, especially if they want to see the product with their own eyes before they buy.

Interesting times lay ahead, so we’re keen to see the next moves in the giant retailer strategies.



Brand Match, Price Guarantee And More…

Never in history has the grocery industry been so cut throat, with companies forced to brand their own cost cutting campaigns to make themselves sound cheaper than the rivals. Gone are the days when some of the supermarket chains prided themselves on being a little more expensive, positioning themselves as a premium brand for the more refined customer. Today, the focus is very simple, price.

Sainsbury’s were one of the more high brow of the big supermarkets a couple of decades ago, certainly if you exclude the companies that have smaller market share. Today, their adverts focus heavily on Brand Match, their answer to the price war that shows no signs of ending. Put simply, they are trying to offer the well known brands for less than their rivals, conveniently ignoring the own brand and economy lines of their competition.

Asda is arguably the budget store, operating under the Walmart umbrella, so are most suited to the concept of aiming to cut prices. That’s certainly no unique selling point any more, however, so they’ve innovated and created a dedicated website to support their Price Guarantee scheme, which promises shoppers that their checkout bill will be 10% cheaper than elsewhere.

Tesco are the major player in the UK, and that grasp looked very strong until a couple of years ago. They’ve started to lose market share though, but not to the other big names. It’s been the real budget stores like Lidl and Aldi that have been quietly nibbling away at Tesco’s price concious target market, and now you frequently hear how it tough is for the big boy in the playground. Their effort to compete has come in the form of the Tesco Price Promise. The idea is that you find out instantly at the checkout if you could have shopped cheaper at another store, and if so, you get a voucher for the difference for your next shop. If you shop online, the offer still applies, but gets delivered electronically via email after you complete your online shop.

Morrisons, however, are the casualties for the price war, and things have been very tough for the chain. Since they moved nationwide, the recession of 2008 has meant they’ve been trying to expand just at the time that households want to spend less. Of course, there’s the adage that more millionaires get made in a recession than a boom, but when you’re a sprawling corporation, it’s hard to be agile and react to market changes when your margins are being squeezed, not to mention investing millions in new stores. They have, however, weathered the storm, and their Price Check which claims that quite simply their prices are always the lowest.

That’s the big four covered, and while there are some other big companies trying to muscle in, they make up the lions share of the food market in the UK. Let’s see where things go next!