Asda steps up Fairtrade offering

Related tags Fairtrade Coffee

After a highly successful Fairtrade Fortnight earlier this year,
Britain's number two food retailer Asda is to increase the number
of ethical products on its shelves - further evidence of the
popularity, and profitability, of such products.

Sales of Fairtrade products - i.e. certified by the UK's Fairtrade Foundation - are expected to top £100 million this year, and with over 250 products from more than 100 companies, to choose from, consumers are more aware of the mark, and what it stands for, than ever before.

Retailers have not been slow to see the economic potential of Fairtrade products, with some, such as the Co-op, switching entire ranges (of own label coffee and chocolate) to Fairtrade products, even though profit margins are less than on 'standard' products.

The Co-op is planning to double the size of its own brand range of Fairtrade products by the end of the year - the current range comprises 62 products - and while other chains have yet to embrace Fairtrade quite as wholeheartedly, most of the other multiple grocers ran promotions during Fairtrade Fortnight and increased their product ranges as a result.

Asda introduced 30 product lines to coincide with the March promotion, and has now added a further four - Cafédirect Decaffeinated Roast & Ground coffee, Cafédirect 5065 premium freeze dried coffee (100g & 200g jars) and Teadirect black tea, taking its total Cafédirect offer to nine lines.

During Fairtrade Fortnight, Cafédirect sales increased by 61 per cent compared to the same period in 2003 at Asda stores alone, and this uplift has been maintained well into the summer, helped by the ongoing in-store promotion.

The Cafédirect range in Asda is currently growing at an average of 44 per cent year-on-year.

Cafédirect is the largest Fairtrade hot drinks company in the UK, and one of only three Fairtrade producers on the market when the Foundation was formed 10 yaers ago (the others being Green & Black chocolate and Clipper tea, the latter also being stocked by Asda).

Fairtrade is part of a wider movement, which includes other ethically-traded products and organic food - a market estimated to be worth some £1.75 billion alone in 2003, according to market analysts Mintel​. With this kind of sales potential, more retailers are likely to stock ethical goods, which can only be good news for the growers in emerging countries whose livelihoods depend on the ethics of western European consumers.

Related topics Market Trends

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