Simply Take, Take 2…

7th February 2020

I’ve just had a sneak preview of the new Waitrose advert and I love it – it really took me back to the Sainsbury’s “Simply Take” adverts of the 1990’s which put great, simple and authentic ingredients at the heart of the advertising message for the very first time.

The Waitrose campaign goes a step further, it takes a single ingredient and showcases it beautifully – with authentic sounds from the farm, bakery or where it is harvested and lovingly crafted into a delicious product. Unlike the early Sainsbury’s adverts, Waitrose do not need a celebrity to endorse their products – the products inherent outstanding quality and provenance speaks for itself.


Sainbury’s – Simply take Catherine Zeta Jones


Source – The hall of advertising, youtube


This all sounds quaint and idyllic, but to get to the point that these ingredients can be displayed and promoted in such a way has taken a lot of hard work, graft and collaboration behind the scenes. I think it is only through the evolution of the supplier and producer relationships that this campaign is now possible. It is a “win win win” for the retailer, supplier/producer and ultimately, us – the customer.


Waitrose – You can taste when it’s Waitrose & Partners

Source – The Grocer, Waitrose plays up product provenance in major new ad campaign


The ingredients are obviously top quality, but subliminally the campaign also reflects how Waitrose cares about those that it deals with – it does not need to explicitly say it – but animal welfare, grower returns, longer-term relationships and top notch communication are all key in making sure these products are sustainable and this to me is inherent in the campaigns messaging. Good relationships are nurtured and enhanced when data is shared – creating a completely transparent picture about pinch points and opportunities – whether that is highlighting low volume sales, margin erosion or where the next opportunity for new product development lies. Sharing great data in a visual way improves and speeds up decision making and presents one picture of the truth for mutual alignment. Opportunities are discussed rather than data sources disputed!


“Giving customers the best-tasting food is at the heart of everything we do – from working closely with our suppliers who grow and produce food only available at Waitrose, to our expert partners who are passionate about every step of its journey, from field to fork. We’re committed to offering products that are unrivalled on quality and taste.”

Source – The Grocer, Waitrose plays up product provenance in major new ad campaign


I also love the global potential and further development opportunities of the campaign which features (initially) bread from London, mangos from Ghana, olive oil from Umbria and free-range eggs from Wiltshire. Again, to get these products from the field, tree or farm to the shelves and then onto your plate requires serious planning. Whilst I hate to mention it, as we enter an important phase of the UK’s Brexit negotiations, it will become increasingly more important to continue to foster the direct relationships already in place through what is potentially a tricky period ahead.


Time is of the essence and having an efficient chill chain or route to market is key. Planning, including forecasts for both sales on and off promotion and initial orders and pipeline fill plus technical specifications are all key and require the engagement and involvement of the primary producers – the farmers(!), marketing desks, chill chain providers, packaging suppliers, technical and production providers and the buyers! – the list goes on…


‘…we see many opportunities to explore more collaborative, long term yet still competitive relationships to balance commerciality, risk and innovation…’

Read More – Where should retailers look to find incremental value from their supplier relationships


At 4C, we have developed many successful end to end / field to plate solutions with both retailers and suppliers and we have learnt that combining great products with the data and insight available when these lines sell – improves and develops the ongoing proposition and the next generation of innovation on your plates!

I’m looking forward to the next phase – the opportunities are endless…


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