7 years of Sainsbury’s

Sainsbury’s had a distinctiveness problem. Their advertising was failing to stand out in the busy retail category. To make matters worse, when they were being noticed they were likely to be mistaken for the competition. They needed a way to cut through, stand out, and be recognised. In response, we injected one of Britain's oldest supermarkets with fresh energy: launching a bold, distinctive take on food, with Sainsbury’s in the middle. 

Giving ‘Living well’ a deeper meaning

To make this possible, we knew it wasn’t going to be enough to simply offer a point of view on food. Wider culture was awash with brands of all kinds vying to show that they ‘got food’ - the result, homogeneity. 

To cut through this noise, we turned to Sainsbury’s promise to help people ‘Live Well’, and sought to give it deeper meaning.

Food plays a role in life beyond satisfying hunger. The occasions it’s at the heart of; the people we share it with; the many different ways it can make us feel – these are the fundamentals of a life well lived. To put this another way, the food Sainsbury’s sells matters to people not because of what it is, but what it enables: living well. 

Armed with this ownable point of view, and a brand new design system, we brought ‘living well’ to life over the years. Celebrating kitchen dancing, the different joys to be had eating through seasons, and of course going big on the mother of all meaningful food moments: Christmas. 

If that wasn’t enough, we brought fresh thinking to value, Celebrated Sainsbury’s 150th anniversary in style, and in tough times championed retail staff during the COVID pandemic.

The results were showing with attribution increasing to a market leading standard over this time period. Sainsbury’s weren’t just getting noticed, they were finding their own distinctive voice. 

Evolving the Sainsbury’s brand commitment 

As the years went by, it was clear that the conversation around food was changing. Add to this a growing competition from discount retailers, and it was essential that Sainsbury’s move to reflect the new times we were operating in.

So we worked with Sainsbury’s to help shape and launch a new brand commitment ‘Helping Everyone Eat Better’, which would replace the decade old ‘Live Well For Less’.

This future-facing brand repositioning reflected Sainsbury’s belief that delicious food, which is healthy, innovative and good for the planet should be accessible to everyone, and would see Sainsbury’s seek to make it easier for people to improve their diets while helping to reduce their impact on the environment.

‘Helping Everyone Eat Better’ was launched in epic fashion, with Stephen Fry stepping up to the mic to deliver a delicious rallying cry to the nation, inspiring the people of Britain to grab their plates and make a difference.

Living the new commitment 

It didn’t stop there, to aid the nation further campaigns gave people tangible, practical ways to nourish their health, and the planet. We started by encouraging people to swap out meat in favour of pulses, and as the weather turned in January got the nation cooking hearty batches of healthy, sustainable Soup!

Helping Everyone Eat Better didn’t just inform communications, it served as an organising principle that has informed the wider business. Sainsbury’s have introduced discounted surplus fresh fruit & veg boxes in over 200 stores, launched reduced plastic packaged mince across the nation, and focused their ALDI price match scheme on fresh unprocessed produce. 

From broth to bake off

Along with Helping Everyone Eat Better, we were responsible for strengthening Sainsbury’s premium sub-brand; Taste the Difference. 

Sainsbury’s had the opportunity to partner with a cultural institution: Channel 4’s The Great British Bake Off. This was a chance to push Taste the Difference into culture, so to maximise our chances we needed to be innovative. Meeting this challenge, we created ‘Cake or Not Cake’, a guessing game where we encouraged Bake Off fans to question whether the Taste the Difference product on display was in fact… cake! 

‘Cake or Not Cake’ has been and continues to be extremely successful. It’s one of the strongest-performing pieces of work by both Sainsbury’s and Channel 4’s databases and helped increase Taste the Difference sales by 10% YoY. 

Which means that from Bake Off, to Christmas, to Helping Everyone Eat Better and beyond - we’ve helped Sainsbury’s find fresh energy and a new role in the lives of customers.


7 years of Sainsbury’s

We injected one of Britain's oldest supermarkets with fresh energy: launching a bold, distinctive take on food, with Sainsbury’s in the middle.

Feel free to get in touch

We'd love to chat

Wieden+Kennedy London

+44 (0)207194 7000 [email protected]