Just recently, I've noticed an interesting increase, both on the TV and in newspapers, in adverts for some of the UK's major food retailers. There seems to be a bit of a battle going on for the hearts and minds of Britain's food shoppers, particularly between Waitrose, M&S and Lidl. I think they must be shrewdly taking advantage of Tesco's recent misfortunes and drop in profits.
I have to admit that I was quite impressed by the latest M&S food advert. Very clever photography, beautifully shot and very sleek and polished. Their food and ingredients were looked incredibly appealing, and I'm really not much of a foodie. In spite of this, however, it won't be persuading me to do my weekly shop at M&S any time soon, although their food is, I'm sure, very good quality, it is just a little expensive for my pocket. I think I could perhaps succumb to an occasional treat, if I'm feeling particularly flush or manage the occasional small top up shop, but nothing more.
Whilst M&S seem to be pitching themselves to a slightly more upmarket, discerning clientele, Waitrose, on the other hand, seem to be taking quite a different tack and have decided to pitch some of their adverts to those with a little less cash to spend. One advert run in the Telegraph this week, plugging their 'essential Waitrose' range surprised me. Are they genuinely trying to lure in those of us who are a bit more price conscious? Or perhaps based on where the advert was placed, they may just be trying to win back those Telegraph readers who have been recognised as having defected to Lidl since the recession hit?
Talking of Lidl, I had to laugh this morning when I went to do my weekly shop at our local store. There was a poster in the window which displayed a 'quote' from a satisfied customer which went something like this ' I enjoy shopping at Lidl and getting my weekly shop for £70 including champagne'.
I've also noticed that Lidl adverts have now started appearing on the television. Not a company to usually utilise television advertising, they have obviously started pushing the boat out, to try to steal even more of the Big Four's customers than they have managed to pinch already. When I first started watching one particular Lidl ad, which was set at a kind of farmer's market, where people were trying products on a stall and then being told they were on sale at ridiculously cheap prices, I too was taken in and wondered what on earth the advert was for. It really amused me to see 'the customers' looking at one another asking themselves why the food was so inexpensive, buying some and then being handed it in a brown paper Lidl bag and let in on the secret.
It is a little like that, being a Lidl shopper. Maybe I'm biased as I've always been happy with my decision to shop there and never could quite understand why lots more people haven't yet cottoned on to their prices/quality and done the same. I guess it's different strokes and all that, but I think perhaps many more might be tempted in store in the near future after this current advertising campaign, and I don't know quite how I feel about the secret finally being outed, as I fear I'll have to be prepared for even longer queues at the tills than there already are at present.
Have you seen any of these ads? What are your thoughts?