Growth in supermarket retailing is largely a product of this industry moving away from traditional business practices to become more market-oriented. Narver & Slater (1990) define market-oriented firms as those that restructure their operational capabilities and broadcast organisational intelligence in relation to customers and competition. These activities include restructuring distribution channels and improving operational models with a larger focus on advertising and promotion. Market-oriented firms, such as Tesco and Sainsbury (as two examples), have better internal processes to improve product variety and deliver on superior customer value through a variety of marketing practices directly related to consumer behaviour and consumer purchasing needs.
In most consumer behaviour models, many different food products are considered latent needs: needs which are not always recognised by the consumer until it has been brought to their attention through advertising (Schultz, Tannenbaum & Allison 1996). Latent products are such things as frozen foods and frozen novelties. Where once these products were left to the consumers’ discretion after they had entered the food retailer, now they are being exposed to multiple marketing messages that provide perceptions of value, price or even convenience through targeted advertising and various internal or external promotions. This shift in advertising presence, either through the grocery outlet or through the product manufacturers themselves has brought considerable growth to names such as Asda and Tesco.
Many supermarkets are also extending their corporate social responsibility efforts to make their store brand appear superior to customers in multiple market segments. Some supermarkets are using advertising to promote the importance of reusing different shopping bags for