Consultancies vie for Sainsbury’s roster

Packaging design and branding consultancies are this week in the process of presenting to Sainsbury’s ahead of final appointments to the supermarket giant’s design roster, Design Week can reveal.

Sainsbury’s confirms it is ‘in the middle of the process’ of putting together a new design roster and will ‘appoint consultancies by the end of December’.

It is unclear if consultancies that have a previous or existing relationship with Sainsbury’s – Paul Cartwright Branding, BR&Me, Lambie-Nairn, Stocks Taylor Benson and Parker Williams – are taking part in the pitch process. Up to 11 consultancies are thought to be presenting detailed solutions, comprising up to six A3 pages, to two mock briefs to demonstrate strategy and approach. This follows responses from around 22 groups to initial requests for information. A Sainsbury’s spokesman confirms that head of packaging design Laura Tovey-Keane is overseeing the process.

The supermarket initiated a review of its packaging design roster back in May, but this is thought to have been put on hold amid recent internal restructuring.

Since then, Sainsbury’s head of general merchandise and global sourcing Richard Jones, who headed up design on the non-food side, has left the company. He is currently on gardening leave before he moves to rival Tesco.

Sainsbury’s has previously operated design teams for its three categories across food products, non-food products and clothing. The review, initiated back in May, was understood to encompass packaging design across the Taste the Difference, So Organic and Basics brands, as well as health, beauty and pet food ranges. It is unclear which services, categories or ranges consultancies appointed in December will be working on.

Earlier this year, Sainsbury’s was planning to appoint product, branding and packaging designers to expand its non-food range. The team, incorporating design, was to be installed at its Coventry site.

Sainsbury’s is the third major roster in the past month for which packaging design and brand consultancies across the UK have been pitching. Others include GlaxoSmithKline and Heinz.

Sainsbury’s design roster:

March – Sainsbury’s looks to appoint product, branding and packaging designers to expand its non-food ranges

May – Sainsbury’s calls review of its design roster

December – Sainsbury’s will appoint consultancies to its design roster

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