Waitrose recently launched its first-ever meal deal. At £5, it is pricier than most other meal deals on the market but still represents good value – for Waitrose. Their website shows a Sweet Chilli Wrap, a Diet Coke and some Mini Cheddars as an example. Now the wrap retails at £3.85 while the Diet Coke comes in at £1.75 so that makes £5.60 before you factor in the Mini Cheddars, which on their own cost another £1 – so their example deal saves shoppers a very nice £1.60., thank you very much.
I must say I am in awe of the person who came up with the meal deal concept and I bet he or she wishes they had trademarked the term so they got a cut of all the sales.
For a number of years I volunteered in my local hospital shop. There they had a great meal deal which was popular with staff and patients and visitors. There was signage all along the chiller explaining exactly what was part of the meal but the question I most often got asked, when I was on the till, was ‘Is this in the meal deal?’. I didn’t mind at all but I was always puzzled by the people who turned down the chance of saving some money at the till. These people would come up with two parts of the meal deal but not the third. So I would point out that they could get a piece of fruit or a yogurt or whatever was missing as well for no extra charge, but they weren’t interested. I know in a hospital environment people have a lot of things on their minds but even so, there were a high number who just refused the offer.
I like the idea of a meal deal – saving a bit of money is always great but I do think that some stores do need to work on their signage. Some of it is too small and some of it is too vague ie ‘a drink’ without saying which drink as I am always going to be the person who picks up the wrong drink.
If you’ve got a good meal deal then make sure it is well communicated – first, that you offer one, second, what’s actually in it and third, the savings customers can make. There also needs to be good availability – otherwise what’s the point?
I always think it’s interesting to see which components people pick for their meal deal. Apparently last year, Tesco customers’ favourite meal deal was a Tesco Sausage Bacon & Egg triple sandwich, McCoy’s Flame Grilled Steak crisps and Coca-Cola 500ml. Sounds like a hearty combo to me!