Morrisons’ efforts to rise above horse meat scandal fail to boost market share

Morrisons’ efforts to rise above the horse meat scandal by highlighting its focus on provenance have failed to reverse the supermarket’s declining market share, according to the latest Kantar Worldpanel figures.

Morrisons highlights British sourcing.

The supermarket, which embarked on a marketing offensive earlier this month to highlight its points of difference and control over its supply chain in the wake of the discovery of horse meat DNA in a number of supermarket own brand and branded beef products, recorded a further slowdown in sales growth and a dip in market share in the three months to mid March.

Its market share fell to 11.7 in the 12 weeks to 17 March, down from 12.3 a year ago and sales growth fell 1 per cent.

Fraser McKevitt, retail analyst at Kantar Worldpanel, told Marketing Week: “Morrisons made efforts to promote its vertical integration but it’s not clear that message has got through to consumers.

Morrisons is also still somewhat inaccessible to shoppers because it has fewer stores so even those wanting to switch might not be able to as easily as they could get to a Sainsbury’s.”

Sales growth lags behind Morrisons brand measures, which improved in the wake of the horse meat scandal while rivals such as Tesco suffered, according to YouGov Brand Index data.

Morrisons market share is likely to improve in coming months as the acceleration of its fledgling convenience division plugs the gap in Morrisons strategy, he adds.

Meanwhile, Tesco’s growth slowed to 1.1 per cent during the period down from 3.4 per cent as the supermarket suffered the brunt of negative publicity surrounding the horse meat scandal. Its market share stands at 29.4 per cent, down from 30.2 per cent a year ago. McKevitt adds, however, the slowdown cannot be fully attributed to the provenance issues affecting the supermarket

Sainsbury’s and Waitrose however, avoided the adverse media coverage according to Kantar, reporting 6.2 and 12.5 per cent sales growth during the period respectively.

Market share (%):
Tesco – 29.4
Asda – 17.9
Sainsbury’s – 16.9
Morrisons – 11.7
The Co-operative – 6.2
Waitrose – 4.8
Aldi – 3.3
Lidl – 2.9
Iceland – 2.1
Source: Kantar Worldpanel 12 weeks to 17 March 2013

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