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Dog eat dog in pet food

A big pet care brand needed to add some more bite to their promotions.

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

Thanks to Acumen Invest and our consultants’ expertise, we were able to identify a multi-million pound opportunity, doubling what we first expected. And critically, we’ve built up a powerful source of promotional history in Acumen Invest that our client can use to help them make more profitable decisions about their promotions from now on.




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.

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