Jamie Oliver in Boots – Two brands that don’t work together

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.

Jamie Oliver and his so far unsuccessful assault on Boots lunch time audience

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.

Update 25.10.12

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.

Jamie Oliver's lunch in Boots - Stlll not really selling very many sandwiches
Jamie Oliver’s lunch in Boots – Stlll not really selling very many sandwiches
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11 thoughts on “Jamie Oliver in Boots – Two brands that don’t work together

  1. I’ve had a look at the Jamie Oliver food and I think it looks great, he does sandwiches, wraps, salads, and focaccia. The only thing i’ve had so far is the veg pot with butternut squash and lemon dip. It was so nice to have a whole pot of veg with my lunch as it made me feel so healthy to have all those veg for lunch. I hate the processed rubbish you get in a lot of supermarkets. The sandwiches are quite pricey as you’ve said though, I would probably only buy the sandwich and bring water/crisps/dessert from home. I hope the range does last as the sandwiches look very tastey, but yeah it would be nice if they were a bit cheaper!

      1. Lol of course not, some people do have other opinions to your own. I’m vegetarian so i’m very limited on what I can buy for lunch, it’s nice to see some healthy food to eat that’s ready made for a change. I think you’re right that the range may not last though due to the price, maybe it will go down after a while or be included in the meal deal?

  2. Just tweeted about this bizarre duo- wouldn’t Sainsburys have been a more obvious choice? Jamie Oliver needs to make sure he doesn’t put his name to too many brands otherwise everything he stands for will be compromised- he’s a bit of a sell out in my mind!

    1. Catherine. I think he probably does genuinely care, but he’s spreading it a bit thin and needs to own up when he gets it wrong every so often (like with his ridiculous flavour shaker thing). I just had a DISGUSTING sandwich from Tesco (steak fajita) and I can now say categorically I will not buy another sandwich from them. Maybe we do just ned to acknowledge that if we want better food we have to be prepared to pay proper money for it.

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