McColl’s runs trial of Co-op Group own-brand products

The three-month pilot of a limited range of fresh, frozen and ambient lines is the first time the Group has supplied own-label products to a different fascia

Last month, 25 McColl’s stores across England and Wales began stocking Co-op own-label products for a three-month trial.

McColl’s is currently supplied by Nisa and Palmer & Harvey.

The three-month pilot will replace Nisa’s own-label brand Heritage and the brand supplied by Palmer & Harvey with over 900 Co-op products. The products will include fresh, frozen and ambient goods, as well as food to go, wine and ready meals.

“This idea was first proposed by Council members, Louise Walker and Frank Nelson, at the end of last year,” said Nick Crofts, president of the National Members’ Council.

“I’m delighted that after their proposal was submitted, the business has decided on the pilot to determine whether this can form part of our long-term strategy. In my view, it’s one of the best examples of Council members working constructively with the business.”

Announcing the partnership on the Co-op Blogs, Co-op food chief executive Jo Whitfield said the three-month trial would be across a limited range of fresh, frozen and ambient lines.

“Once we’ve seen how it goes, we’ll think about whether to extend it or try different ways to show off our Co-op difference to more customers,” she said. “This is just one way we’re looking at to get more Co-op products into more people’s baskets rather than just opening new stores.”

Speaking to the Grocer, Ms Whitfield added: “This is an exciting trial and provides clear potential for the Co-op to strengthen its leading position within the UK convenience sector […] We’ll clearly monitor closely how customers respond to this new offer.”

This will be the first time the Co-op has supplied own-label products to a different fascia. To avoid customer confusion, none of the 298 sites McColl’s acquired from the Co-op last July will take part in the trial.


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