Where did Sainsbury’s lose it’s way?
For those of you who follow me on Twitter, you’ll have seen a rather angry rant about Sainsbury’s a couple of weeks ago. Sainsbury’s has never really been my cup of organic, loose leaf tea, but I popped into their Sale branch on the off chance I might have been able to buy some free range chicken (in the 21st century, I wouldn’t have thought this to be a big ask). Unfortunately, I was greeted with rows and rows of non free-range chicken breasts at knock down prices, with only a tiny section devoted to their so-called ‘freedom food’ chicken, horrendously expensive at almost £8 for two chicken breasts. I almost collapsed in aisle 1. How on earth can a supermarket not provide free-range chicken? This, unfortunately, is the third time an incident like this has happened in the past year in this shop, and I vow to never shop in that supermarket ever again.
It didn’t surprise me, therefore, that Sainsbury’s reported they’d made a loss for the first time in ten years. If they’d like some clarification as to why this happened, here goes.
In modern day Britain, people do actually care about where their food comes from. Celebrity chefs such as Jamie Oliver and Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall have been encouraging people to buy free range meat for the past decade and programmes such as ‘Food Unwrapped’ shown on prime time TV have thousands of viewers every week. It’s very difficult now for people to turn a blind eye to where their food, and in particular their meat, comes from.
95% of the British population eat chicken at least twice a week, if not more. The problem we face, however, is that even though people desperately want to eat free range chicken, supermarkets such as Sainsbury’s hike the price up so much that only ‘large-income’ families can afford it. There are millions of people out there who, just like myself, want to buy a nice free range chicken but we can’t afford to. Who in their right mind can afford £8 for two chicken breasts for goodness sakes?! We are therefore pushed to buy caged chicken and live with the guilt of it.
So my clear and simple message to Sainsbury’s is to make it more accessible to the general public to buy free-range, good quality meat.
Rant over. (For now…)