The healthy eating brand
A Tesco case study

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Page 4: Results of the research

Some of the results of the research were that consumers feel that a 'balanced diet' includes:
1.    Inherently healthy ingredients and products. These include natural ingredients that are seen to be healthy, basic, traditional foods which are considered natural and wholesome, such as:

  • fresh fruit and vegetables
  • wholemeal bread
  • pasta, rice, pulses and potatoes
  • white meat
  • fish
  • water
  • fresh fruit juice
  • cereals
  • frozen vegetables
  • organic fresh foods
  • milk.

2. Products which have been made healthy. These are products which consumers feel sufficiently positive to categorise as being healthy because sufficient change has been made to both the product and its image, such as:

  • low fat spread
  • yogurt
  • cheeses
  • semi-skimmed milk
  • healthy prepared ready meals and meal centres
  • trimmed meat and poultry.

3. Products which had been made healthier. These are products which in their standard form appear unhealthy, but have been made healthier through changes to recipe and preparation methods. These products would still not be perceived as inherently healthy, but can contribute to an improvement in the diet, such as:

  • low fat versions of sausages
  • mayonnaise
  • crisps
  • chips
  • ice cream, etc.

Tesco 2 Image 4In the third category it is sometimes possible to move the product towards healthy eating by the inclusion of a positive proposition, such as: low fat burgers made with extra lean mince. In seeking information about healthy eating, consumer’s feel that sources are often contradictory. However, they feel that the most reliable sources of information include doctors, dieticians, nutritionists, The Health Education Authority, The Heart Foundation and Government sources. Of the retailers, Tesco and Sainsbury were universally the most highly regarded in the provision of healthy foods.

Consumer’s requirements of retailers are that they should provide a range of choices, to the expected standards dictated by the authoritative sources and changing consumer perceptions. Such choice enables the achievement of an individual household’s own concept of a 'Balanced Diet' without pressure. Consumers felt that the role of communicating information and providing an appropriate product portfolio must be achieved without being perceived to over claim or jump on the healthy eating bandwagon. In this context, the fact that the Tesco “Healthy Eating” brand was almost 10 years old, generated an extremely positive reaction from respondents. It added credibility in terms of the reasons behind the original development of the brand.

Relaunching the Initiative in 1995

The 'Healthy Eating Initiative' was therefore relaunched in June 1995, having achieved the following:

  • A quality range of products with the breadth and depth to satisfy consumer requirements, which are offered as a choice within similar product ranges. “Healthy Eating” products are not all merchandised together. Instead they appear as part of a parent range offer.
  • A range of products which meet required criteria and which are clearly understood by consumers.
  • A consistent pricing structure. Wherever possible, healthy eating products are kept at the same price as standard products unless there is a real cost implication, e.g. skinless chicken is more expensive than chicken with the skin on, but healthy eating yogurts are the same price as standard ones.
  • A pack design which clearly communicates food values and product benefits, as well as being easily identifiable.
  • A merchandising policy which helps the customer to find the products and maximise sales. The Healthy products are usually merchandised next to the standard version or next to the brand leader if there is one in the healthy sector, e.g. “Healthy Eating” ready meals are next to Lean Cuisine and Weight Watchers meals. Sometimes they are put on an end for a special promotion.

The brand was redesigned to give a much stronger ‘on pack’ presence whilst still retaining the 'Man.' The criteria for meeting 'Healthy Eating' requirements were also made stricter, but the scope of the Brand increased by stretching brand imagery for 'healthier' products e.g. 'reduced fat' rather than 'half fat.'

Tesco | The healthy eating brand