The UK grocery market is undergoing a significant channel shift recently. While there’s no growth at supermarkets and hypermarkets, online and discounters are the fastest growing channels. Online channel particularly represents 40% (£7.1 bn.) of the growth opportunity and is forecast to be 9% of the total grocery market by 2021. Traditional grocers continue to experience declining sales and their online growth appears to be slowing, while Ocado is now the fastest growing grocer in UK and continues to outperform online competition. Ocado has leading selections of international, free-from and organic ranges: eight dedicated international shops, over 1.5k free from products, more than 60 brand shop-in-shops, and overtrade seven times in organic. In its portfolio, international food products, and particularly the Italian ones, are growing more and more, and in order to increase their offer of authentic Italian products to UK consumers they choose to enter into a partnership with Consorzio Italia del Gusto. Presently, 3% of all grocery SKUs on Ocado are “Italian”, the largest international segment on site, and Italia del Gusto can offer all the best national brands that Ocado requires. The opportunities for growth are significant, as there are 170,000 Italians in the UK.
Foreign food in the UK
For us foreign food products are very important, as more than 12% of British population is international, Rose Price, Head of Buying for Ocado said during her speech for the meeting held by ItalianFood.net for Cibus Connect 2017, last April. London is the fourth largest Swedish City, the sixth largest French City and counts over 65,000 Italian-born residents. The shop-in-shop formula of Ciao Gusto allows to gather 261 products of Italia del Gusto in one location, vs 30,000 sold across all of Ocado.com. Italian manufacturers can become suppliers for our private label, which weights 12% on the sell out. Certifications are needer, for example Brc, logistic solutions for UK deliveries and the ability to work with Ocado’s volumes and orderings and obviously to have exceptional quality products. Moreover, through the shop in shop Ocado can show the best new products with market leading promotions, use powerful visual assets to excite customers, promote recipes, and take advantage from the bigger purchases of online customers. Italian food can help doubling sales capacity Ocado foresees to double sales capacity in the next two years and Italia del Gusto is a key partner in this strategy. Italian cuisine is really important to us, Rose Price told. Ciao Gusto is known in the Italian market and brings us products which are authentic and original, thanks to their expertise in Italy. At the moment, the best performing Italian food products on Ocado are tomatoes, coffee, pasta, Parmigiano Reggiano but also products for vegan and vegetarian consumers. We excel in free from and last year we were elected vegetarian retailer of the year. We intend to expand that range further. Ciao Gusto’s shop performance since April 2016 recorded cash sales of £5,227,229, and unit sales for 2,377,393. Italia del Gusto is based on three main pillars: the website www.ciaogusto.com for consumers contents, the shop-in-shop on Ocado’s website, and Ciao Gusto Ltd, a company devoted to import the products of Italia del Gusto’s associate companies which were not directly present in the UK market.