I quite like Jamie Oliver and I quite like Boots. I sometime pop into the latter for a cheap meal deal and something to make me look less old or ugly. BUt I don’t think they are brands that sit well together. As i’ve said before, brands work well together when they approach similar audiences who share a close match when you overlay their combined values. This isn’t the case with Boots and Jamie.
And I have some evidence to prove it.
If you look at these two shelves side by side the one on the right is the normal Boots meal deal fare. £3.29 for sandwich, drink and crisps. On the left is Jamie’s good work. Sandwiches (which look lovely) starting at £3.70 and specifically excluded from the meal deal. By the time you add crisps and a decent smoothie you are at £6 or nearly double their normal price. 50p off isn’t going to impress or influence anyone.
As you can see one gondola is very full and one is very empty. That shot was at 14.45 today, so very little else will sell today.
Now, I don’t consider myself a tightwad in the lunch department, but this is a big step up in price for Boots customers. Too big. In Waitrose it may work, but not here.
This range will have to be included in the meal deal - even with a small price premium – or it will fail fast.
It’s not because the sandwiches are bad or the retailer is at fault. It’s just that there is nowhere near enough overlay in the values.
The promo video
This is what Jamie Oliver said before the launch.
I genuinely believe he is passionate about the product, but sadly unless there is a fundamental shift in Boots customers’ buying behaviour, it will be in the meal deal and dumbed down to meet the price point, or sadly it will fail.
I went in again today at 17.05 to see how it was getting on today. The picture still doesn’t lie. There is an enormous amount left in Jamie’s stand and far less in the one on the right. It looks more even because the standard one has been re-merchandised to bring the remaining stock forward. And of course, we don’t know whether they had a jamie delivery overnight and how much will have to be thrown away.