Sainsbury’s move hits roster groups

Two groups on the Sainsbury’s packaging roster, Davies Hall and Two by Two, are reviewing the future of their businesses following a downgrading of their positions.

Davies Hall partner Steve Davies confirms there will be staff changes at the group, but denies it is on the brink of receivership.

Two by Two director Ashwin Shaw says Sainsbury’s was a large client. The move ‘will affect [Two by Two’s] business’ and Shaw is ‘reviewing [its] situation’.

The news comes after the consultancy’s work for Sainsbury’s was downgraded earlier this summer as part of the supermarket’s roster review.

The overhaul sees the appointment of three ‘strategic design partners’, Parker Williams, Brewer Riddiford and Smith & Milton, according to a statement from Sainsbury’s.

The supermarket has ‘created a roster structure whereby other consultancies can be used on a more ad hoc basis as the need arises’, the statement says. On that basis, it will continue to work with Two by Two, Davies Hall and Foster & Baylis.

Foster & Baylis director Mark Baylis declines to comment on how the move will affect the consultancy and says its work with Sainsbury’s has always varied from year to year.

Sainsbury’s is renewing its focus on own-label packaging, and has ‘been reviewing what are the best design groups to work with to drive new product development’, the statement adds.

Consultancies not previously on the roster were asked to take part in a pitch in June to provide some ‘fresh input’, says an industry source.

Following the success of own-brand ranges such as Taste the Difference, Be Good to Yourself and Blue Parrot Café, Sainsbury’s is looking to accelerate its new product development, the statement says.

The roster revamp is seen as a key way of managing the design and communication of these ranges strategically, it adds.

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