Woolworths has launched an online community, ‘The Bunch’, which allows people to taste its own-brand food products free of charge and provide reviews, which the retailer says are unfiltered.
A pilot of the community program began late last year, with more than 4,000 customers Australia-wide so far giving their opinions across a range of items, with some saving more than $100 on products within a few months.
Customers have sampled own-brand food items from across the Woolworths own-brand ranges, including soups, ice-cream, crackers, tomatoes and lamb shanks.
“Instead of them just receiving bite-size samples in-store, we’re giving customers the opportunity to try full-sized portions for free in their own homes,” Woolworths Senior Own Brand Portfolio Manager Gemma Howells said. “In exchange, we want them to cook, experiment and test them with their family and friends, then decide what they think of them and share their honest ratings and reviews on The Bunch.”
In the sampling process, community members, known as ‘Bunchees’, are notified by email when new samples become available. They can then choose to select the offer, with its value loaded onto their Woolworths Rewards Card. The item can be picked up in-store during their next visit and the product is deducted from their total when the rewards card is scanned.
Ms Howell says the process enables customers to shape the future of Woolworths’ own-brand ranges.
“They can experience some of our new and existing range of products and provide us comprehensive feedback on how we’re doing,” she said. “If they like it, we know we’re on the right track. However, if they don’t, we can immediately capture, take on board the feedback and work with our product-development teams to review the products.”
The next round of recruitment to become part of The Bunch will be in the last week of June, with a few thousand more Bunchees to be added to the growing community.
Customer views, apart from those of The Bunch, are also taken on board in the development and product-review stage via the customer-tasting panel based at the Woolworths Food Innovators Centre at Bella Vista in Sydney.