Opinion

Lean, green and powerful – Tesco has made a Hulk-like smash with creative flair and data

5 min read

10 May 2016

Former deputy editor

The importance of data has been highlighted everywhere, but without overcomplicating the issue for SMEs, you only have to look at Tesco’s obsession with avocados to see monitoring your numbers can have a remarkable impact on your business and its ability to blaze a trail as an innovator.

As a health-conscious individual, avocados are one of my go-to goods when its time for a food shop. Lean, green and packed with power, just like the Incredible Hulk, the fruit is often given the mantle of “superfood”.

The past few years have resulted in Brits becoming savvier when it comes to making wiser lifestyle choices that will benefit their wellbeing. That much was proven when we interviewed The Body Coach creator Joe Wicks, who revealed how he delivers personal training for 70,000 clients.

Our investigation of boutique fitness ventures also showed that SMEs in the marketplace have found a niche that allows them to fend off big box gym operators.

So with exercise on the up, healthy eating will have increased for a well-rounded approach for the road to clean living.

That’s certainly a trend that’s been witnessed by Tesco, which reports that avocados are so popular they’ve overtaken sales of oranges – a long-favoured fruit. Retail sales data from IRI has claimed the UK avocado market is worth £150m a year versus the country’s £126m orange market.

Coupling that movement with its own in-store patterns, Tesco has made the forward-thinking leap to launch a butter and margarine substitute made of the green goodness. The supermarket said its newest innovation will mark the first time ever that such a product has been launched in Britain.

It piggybacks on the company’s launch of frozen avocados and the “Avozilla” – the largest avocado in the world, which is five times larger than the average.

Monitoring third-party research and its own data, trends and sales should spell a successful release for Tesco – if it doesn’t taste horrendous, of course.

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Though it may seem a bit niche, the revenue potential is there. And sitting on the shelves next to tubs of margarine could bring the avocado spread to the attention of new shoppers – especially since it has the first mover advantage.

This should really be a wake-up call to anyone burying their head in the sand when the idea of data comes up.

Barclays has seen to it that data analysis needn’t be a costly or bemusing with the launch of SmartBusiness; an SME-centric platform that will cost £5 a month for the ability to monitor company spending patterns, inflows and outflows, as well as trends of rivals.

“Rarely or infrequently” were the responses for 56 per cent of SMEs when asked how often they check data, while 15 per cent added that the thought had never even crossed their mind.

That’s like trying a new recipe without reading the ingredients – and that’s a recipe for disaster.

“Shoppers can’t get enough of avocados which have become extremely popular on account of their great taste, versatility in food and drinks as well as for their nutritional benefits,” said Tesco spreads buyer Dean Rawlinson.

“With this, the UK’s first ever avocado spread, our product developers have created a new and exciting way for shoppers to benefit from the excellent health credentials of avocados in even more ways.”

The demand for avocado at Tesco has grown 40 per cent over the past year, propelling it to become one of Britain’s fastest growing established fruits. Convinced the dairy-free spread, which is £1.20, will be a success, the product will be found in 400 stores nationwide.

So that’s data. It doesn’t have to be complicated; in fact, it can be bloody tasty and good for your business, with all the might of a superhero.

Time to start smashing the competition.

Mind you, not all Brits are living a healthy lifestyle – employers are “stoking flames of alcohol misuse”