RESEARCH | Staff Reporter, UK

Five elements of successful partnerships in food-to-go

IGD case studies look at what makes a productive partnership.

Brand alignment, defined responsibilities, and clear targets aresome of the elements that lead to successful partnerships according to latest research from IGD.

Other factors include relevance to customers of both parties and proposition enhancement (i.e. meeting additional needs, serving new tasks and doing the same things "better).

One of their senior analysts briefly discussed two case studies that are productive in nature. See the excerpt below:

Case study: brand alignment from Wasabi and M&S

What’s the deal?
- An initial five-store trial of fresh sushi and bento counters between leading premium retailer M&S and food-to-go operator Wasabi
- Customers order at the co-branded Wasabi counters in M&S food halls and pay at the M&S checkouts. This makes it easy to buy from both brands

Why is it interesting?
- M&S has traditionally been very heavily focused on own brand, and a leader in food-to-go. It’s a key development to bring a branded partner into its food halls. It shows that even those already doing an excellent job can strengthen their offer through carefully-chosen partnerships.

What can you learn from this?
- Integration is important. The dual branding communicates a joined-up proposition.
- Choice of partner is key. These companies share similar quality and ethical values; the partnership strengthens shopper perceptions of both brands.

Case study: proposition enhancement from BWG and Freshly Chopped

What’s the deal?
- BWG is the exclusive distributor and supplier for Freshly Chopped, the fast-growing Irish salad chain with over 40 sites. It’s a partnership that began in November 2017.

- As part of the deal, BWG can offer Freshly Chopped outlets to its network of approximately 800 SPAR, SPAR Express, EUROSPAR, MACE and Londis stores. The first Chopped outlets have already been integrated into stores, with more on the way.

Why is it interesting?
- We see this type of deal as a win-win. Convenience stores gain access to more points of difference. Specialist food-to-go operators can reach new sites and ways to grow.

What can you learn from this?
- Partnerships like this show how operators can harness food-to-go within a convenience format to make themselves stand out and drive new missions.

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