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Supermarket wars: Food Love Stories

Supermarket wars: Food Love Stories

Building brands with social purpose

Traditionally, a company’s product offer was thought of as what the consumer buys. The end product that the company creates and the customer walks away with. There’s nothing fundamentally wrong with that logic, but in reality it’s a very binary way of looking at the decision making process.

Really we make buying decisions based on a culmination of factors.  It’s about the power of the brand, our emotional connection to it, the customer service we get and, increasingly, how the company interacts with the community it operates in.

High-street supermarkets have a responsibility as a consumer giant, to contribute to society. And, as consumers, it’s up to us to use our bargaining power of the pound to hold them accountable.

In an ideal world, supermarkets would be playing a key role in helping us make healthy choices and support us in developing the skills we need to look after ourselves and families. Not just selling us products for maximum profit.

In this feature, I’ll be looking at marketing campaigns and activities from some of the UK’s largest stores and how they’re working towards building a better future for their society.

Tesco love stories

Tesco love stories is the latest campaign push from the grocery heavyweight, focusing on favorite meals of their customer, and the stories behind them.

The ambition of Tesco love stories is to highlight the quality of Tesco's grocery offer and encourage people to get cooking by sharing customers' own favoured recipes, for example "David’s 'hot or not' Christmas curry” or "Henry’s ‘being good tonight’ falafel".

This heart-warming, mouth-watering movement is a step change from the celebrity fronted predecessor. It puts the customer at the centre of the idea, not the brand. These are stories from real people, not Tesco.

Each story stems from a short video that has been shown on screens across the country and online. The videos are then supported with recipe cards, quick links to print, text or email the recipe and a dedicated fridge that is home to all the ingredients you need to match the recipe card.

Marc’s ‘winning’ sweet potato fritters

I’m giving the whole experience a go with a recipe card I picked up in store, Marc’s ‘winning’ sweet potato fritters.

‘Perfect for sharing, these baked sweet potato fitters are full of veg and flavoursome spices that make them a delicious snack with cooling tzatziki for dipping. Baked rather than fried, they are easy to make and healthy too, something Marc loves as he can share them with his health conscious Dad while watching footy.’

After instantly losing the recipe card I headed to the Tesco website in search of a replacement. They’ve made the experience as straight forward as possible with options to email, text or download the recipe.

These fritters aren’t going to go setting the world on fire, but they are a nice step change in weeknight snacking.  They also offer a very easy to follow guide, quick links to buy and options to add the meal to your own folder or meal plan!

You can find Marc’s recipe here.

Creating a brand that has real social purpose is not just about a well thought out, multi-channel marketing campaign, it’s about using your power to make a real difference to people’s lives. 

Love stories is a step in the right direction for supermarket giants, particularly if they keep the momentum going behind their in-store offer. Presenting consumers with recipe cards and organised fridges with everything they need to make that meal, encourages kitchen-phobic cooks among us to put on the apron.

Cooking is not everyone’s idea of an evening well spent, particularly those short on time. For these people the pre-prepared ready meals can seem like an attractive offer, can Tesco love stories convince at least some of these people to put down the plastic? Let’s hope so.

Chipoltle fish tacos with coriander sauce, pickled pink onions and sweetcorn salsa

Chipoltle fish tacos with coriander sauce, pickled pink onions and sweetcorn salsa

Peppered mackerel pate with horseradish and smoked paprika

Peppered mackerel pate with horseradish and smoked paprika