ISP says BOGOF ban misguided

Government criticism of supermarket BOGOF (buy one get one free) deals has been labelled as misguided by Clive Mishon, chairman of the Institute of Sales Promotion (ISP).


Mishon called reaction the Government’s attitude a “”knee jerk.”

The ISP also raised the question of whether BOGOFs for non-perishable items would be included.

Supermarkets may be banned from using BOGOF promotions under the plans outlined in the Food 2030 report issued yesterday by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) and they may face legislation if they fail to agree to government waste reduction targets.

Mishon adds: “We feel the government response is a knee jerk reaction, and would be unhappy with any attempt by government to legislate on the freedom of the market. The ISP welcomes any move to reduce waste, but we are not convinced that a blanket ban on BOGOF promotions will achieve that objective.”

The Defra report criticized BOGOF deals for encouraging consumers to buy food they didn’t need that would later be wasted, and suggests supermarkets replace these deals with half-price offers.

Asda already has a policy not to use BOGOF deals as it believes they offer a “false economy,” says an Asda spokesperson.

The supermarket favours deals such as 2 for £1 which it believes offer consumers extra value.

Both Morrisons and upmarket supermarket, Waitrose, say they already focus BOGOF deals on long-life goods.

Morrisons ‘Great Taste, Less Waste’ campaign was launched in stores in May to advise consumers on ways to minimise food waste. The supermarket introduced “Best Kept” stickers on fresh produce to show how best to store fresh foods for longer at home.

A Morrisons spokesperson said: “Morrisons works hard to offer customers great value as well as providing measures and advice to help shoppers reduce their waste.”

Waitrose is actively supporting WRAP’s‘Love Food, Hate Waste’ campaign, to minimise household food waste.

“We work hard to ensure all our money off and added value promotions are varied, relevant and compelling to our customers – and are geared towards encouraging trialability and boosting longer-term sales for our suppliers,” says a Waitrose spokesperson.   

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