Sobeys tweaking branding with healthy advice from Jamie Oliver
August 19, 2013 | Alicia Androich | Comments
Sobeys is evolving its brand and in-store experience to better reflect the way Canadians are increasingly interested in healthy eating. In order to provide customers with better food solutions, the Nova Scotia-based grocer is partnering with star chef Jamie Oliver this fall.
Oliver – who has revolutionized school food nutrition standards, had cooking shows broadcast in more than 100 countries and created a foundation to kickstart the careers of youth looking to work in the food industry – will help as the company modifies its brand to better meet the needs of its customers.
“Jamie Oliver is an important piece of Sobeys’ brand evolution, which is focused on meeting Canadians’ desire for better food solutions,” Sobeys senior vice-president of marketing Doug Brummer told Marketing. “Jamie will work with us to champion food knowledge, cooking skills and balanced nutrition.”
When asked about what type of changes may be happening in-store based on Oliver’s input, Brummer said more specific details on those changes will be released in the fall.
In the U.K., Oliver worked with British supermarket chain Sainsbury’s for more than a decade, providing advice on enhancing the assortment and quality of its product offering.
Market research by Sobeys shows that 73% of Canadians say they’d like to eat better than they do now, so Sobeys is aiming to enhance its in-store experience and product assortment in the coming months to make it easier for its customers to learn about and purchase better food. The research study was led by Sobeys’ internal research team and polled thousands of Canadians across the country. (More of the research from the study will also be revealed in the fall, he added.)
Partnering with a healthy food advocate such as Oliver helps enhance the company’s commitment to providing the best food retail experience, said Marc Poulin, Sobeys president and CEO, in a release. The core of the business has always focused on providing quality food, said Poulin, but the upcoming changes will reflect the changing needs of customers who are increasingly on the hunt for healthy food.
In addition to his TV shows – which include The Naked Chef, the Emmy-winning Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution and Jamie’s Great Italian Escape – books and restaurants, Oliver also has a charity called the Jamie Oliver Food Foundation that is focused on food education.
A subsidiary of Empire Company Limited, Sobeys is a 106-year-old company that, in addition to Sobeys stores, operates retail banners including Thrifty Foods, IGA, Foodland and FreshCo.