Dog eat dog in pet food

Who was our client?

A big pet care brand.

Why did they get in touch?

Supermarkets dominate over 50% of the
pet care market, and the big four are
intensely competitive. With two major
companies against each other, offers and
promotions play a huge part in the battle
to be top-dog of the aisles.

Our client was spending more and more
money on promotions without a clear
picture of which offers were working,
and which weren’t.

With the data locked away in SAP ERP,
teams weren’t able to find the information
they needed to make important decisions.

They needed us to help them:

  • find unprofitable spend across all SKUs
  • pinpoint opportunities where they could
    grow – across each supermarket each
    brand and each promotion mechanic
  • make sure the current promotions were
    in line with our client’s brand strategy.

We combined our consultancy skills and
our promotions app, Acumen Invest™ to
help our client make more profitable
decisions on their promotions.

The Acumen answer

Seeing clearly

First, we freed up the data so that we
could review the trade spend by channel,
category and customer.

We then modelled different scenarios to
see which promotions were bringing in
positive returns, and which weren’t.

Looking at the growth rates by brand and
customer, we could see if these matched
the brand’s objectives

Thinking differently

We saw that there were promotions
on specific brands and pack sizes
that weren’t profitable and could be
discontinued without having a negative
effect on the overall profits.

It became clear that a big proportion
of the trade spend budget could be spent
on profitable shelf promos instead of
unprofitable display promos.

We changed the frequency of promotions
to make sure it was exactly right. We did
this by helping them to see the effect on
total P&L of having more or less weeks
on a deal – by brand and by customer.

Working smarter

We looked at the processes around trade
spend and made recommendations to
make them more efficient.

We made sure that sales teams would
need to comply with strict guidelines for
some brands in order for promotions
running on them to be profitable.

More profitable promotions


We informed our client’s
2015 promotions plan using
the opportunities that we
identified and changed
promotional guidelines so
they could be used more
effectively by sales teams.


We gave our clients a
stronger bargaining
position by helping them
to see a clearer picture
of their customers’ margins
vs their own.


And we made sure
promotions across our
client’s product range
were supporting the
brand’s objectives, not
hampering them.