In 1987 Woolworths launched its new tag line – The Fresh Food People. The line was created by advertising agency Leo Burnett, although there seems to be a dispute as to who actually thought of it. The line was eventually used by the Woolworths-owned Safeway chain in Victoria after the account was moved from local agency Mattingly.
In the 1980s, Woolworths was lagging behind Coles in what had become a two-way competition for the grocery dollar. Over the years 1986 and 1987, profits were falling. The Fresh Food People campaign was launched following the review and implementation of new buying, merchandising and training programs in each of the fresh food departments. This focus on fresh food was designed to differentiate the chain from Coles, which had been emphasising low prices.
Two years after launching the Fresh Food People campaign, Woolworths also changed its logo. Called “the apple logo” it helped to reinforce the fresh food positioning. In subsequent years Woolworths overtook Coles to become Australia’s leading supermarket. Despite this, some critics still referred to the two chains as “Colesworths”, arguing that they were largely indistinguishable.
Supermarket changes, in general, have recognised the importance of fresh produce, redesigning store layouts to put fruit and veg upfront. Woolworths has stuck with the fresh food story, launching a new campaign in 2014 that used the original jingle.
At that time, according to The Monthly, on average every Australian man, woman and child spent $100 a week on food, merchandise, liquor, hardware or petrol at Wesfarmers/Coles or Woolworths outlets.