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Tesco tailoring food for an ethnic market

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The UK’s biggest retailer Tesco is tailoring its London stores for an ethnic market as it uses its data more effectively.

Andrew Yaxley, managing director for Tesco London said it makes “no sense” for all its London stores to be the same and explained how the local population is shaping its in-store product.

“97 per cent of our customers in Upton Park are Asian or black. We’ve brought in a Halal counter into a Metro sized format; you walk along the local high-street and it’s full of Halal butchers.

“We know that oil, rice and flour are important ingredients to our customers as a lot of cooking is done from scratch, so we permanently feature them on our promotional lines,” he explained.

“We carry 21 Asian titles of magazines and brought in 32 mods of our world food range which in the past would have put into our big Extra stores. We’ve got over 100 stores that would benefit from this sort of treatment.”

His comments pave the way for the many ethnically diverse areas in London such as Acton, Tower Hamlets, Hounslow, Tooting, Willesden and Brixton to begin to see tailored supermarkets. More than half of Sainsbury’s and Tesco stores are now convenience shops.

He says the Tesco Express in Upton Park store is using Dunhummby, Clubcard and catchment data to put relevant products in front of local customers.

Earlier this year, Ikea announced kitchens in its Wembley store would be tailored to Indian customers.

The ethnic population is growing rapidly in the UK with Nigerian, Somali, Bangladeshi and Pakistani‘s flocking to London and other cities. One in eight people were born abroad, according to the 2011 Census, while the population in London is set to surge 20 per cent by 2030.

The Somali population in London, who are known to buy basmati rice and pasta in bulk, tend to visit wholesalers and Somali shops for food products. One Somali consumer explained where she buys food and why.

“Fruit and veg is bought from the market because it’s fresher and has more exotic options,” she said. “We go to the cash and carry/market every time to buy onions and coriander because the supermarkets are too expensive.”

Top selling lines from Asda’s Asian range

  • Yoghurt
  • Chopped Tomatoes
  • Sunflower and Vegetable Oil 5ltr
  • Basmati Rice 5kg
  • Chapatti Flour 5kg
  • Chick Peas

And Caribbean range

  • Supermalt
  • Ginger beer
  • Salted fish
  • Nestle Milo Drinks
  • Nourishment Drinks
  • Corned Beef
Published on Monday 09 June by Editorial Assistant
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