A worrying conclusion for brand marketeers would be that very, very few of the shopping lists made any reference to brands. Given that many categories have overwhelming branded market leaders, I would have expected to see many big household name brands putting in an appearance. But, instead of lists featuring Heinz, Hellmann’s or Heineken, I was confronted by lists mentioning ketchup, mayonnaise and beer. Of course, it might be the case that these brands ended up in the basket or trolley, but – with private label accounting for at least 50% of volume – it’s just as likely that requirements were sated by Tesco’s own brand range.
Some brands did make it onto the lists though, with many of these being incredibly specific niche buys (such as denture adhesive and indigestion relief). For the record, the brands that made it onto the shopping list roll of honour comprised: Heinz (spaghetti hoops), Arial, Cathedral City, Pot Noodle, Cheese Strings, Hula Hoops, McCoy’s, Philadelphia, Coca-Cola (always written as Coke – two mentions), Birds Eye (peas – two mentions), Activia, Special K, Linda McCartney, Dr. Oetker, Pink Stuff, Frazzles, Vanish, Fairy (four mentions), Jus Roll, Lurpak (two mentions), Bisto, Splenda, Jaffa Cakes, Bold, Colgate (two mentions), Pepsi, Steradent, Flora, Butchers (dog food), Fruit Shoot (two mentions), HP, Oxo, Hovis, Warburtons, Tabasco, Gaviscon, PG Tips, Cravendale, Buscopan, Yakult, Richmond, Galaxy, Plenty, Anchor, Fruit & Fibre, Tetley, Whole Earth, Mr Kipling, Nimble, Sure, Pimm’s, Weetabix, Savlon and Dolmio.