Client Sainsburys
Agency Seven
Title Sainsbury's Magazine
The brief

To produce a high-quality glossy monthly food and lifestyle title to increase Sainsbury's share of the consumer basket, attract new customers and support the ‘best for food and lifestyle' brand message.

A food and lifestyle publication that's packed with triple-tested, easy-to-follow recipes from the nation's favourite cooks, plus pages of fashion, beauty, health, wellbeing, homes ideas and expert practical advice.

A magazine that offers Sainsbury's customers inspiration - whether they're entertaining at the weekend or need new ideas for everyday suppers. 

The challenge

To create a quality glossy title for which customers are happy to pay, that communicates key brand and product messages for Sainsbury's.

Editorial response

Sainsbury's magazine is the only supermarket magazine that is paid for by all its readers. Bursting with fantastic recipes and glorious food photography, the award-winning magazine was launched by Delia Smith in May 1993.

Sainsbury's magazine's unique mix of food and lifestyle content offers its readers recipe inspiration from the magazine's renowned food team, plus ideas for their homes, families, health and holidays. It's also great value, at an affordable price of £1.60.

Seven uses the best photographers and stylists, develops the best recipes and works with the best cookery writers. As a result, the magazine has been recognised with an unprecedented three PPA awards and, more recently, an APA award for Best Consumer Publication.

Packed with tips and advice from some of the finest writers and contributors around, including Nigel Slater, Shane Watson and Victoria Riedl, the magazine is popular because of its editorial independence, the values of a glossy newsstand monthly title and a reputation of quality and trustworthiness.

In short, no other customer magazine delivers the brand message quite like Sainsbury's magazine does, using hiqh quality editorial to achieve great copy sales and advertising revenues. 


Reaching the enviable position as the UK's widest-read, fully paid-for monthly in Britain, Sainsbury's magazine now has more readers than any other monthly glossy paid-for magazine (3,296,000 - NRS readership Jan-Dec 2011).

Judged Best Consumer Publication (Retail) at the APA's International Content Marketing Awards 2011, Sainsbury's magazine is the only title to have won the covetable PPA Customer Magazine Award three times at the annual Periodical Publisher's Association (PPA) Awards.

The magazine, now in its 19th year, has continued to be a major commercial and marketing success for Sainsbury's, with leading chefs and food writers choosing to work with the magazine, often exclusively, helping to spread its reputation internationally.

The humble butterbean was featured in the cover recipe of the February 2011 issue (a delicious spiced carrot and butter bean soup), which saw sales rocket by an amazing 138%. 

The workaday bacon chop, suggested as a quick supper with mustard leeks and mash in the March 2011 issue, saw a whopping 167% sales increase. But the real hero was the brioche loaf - turned into a Cheat's Christmas ice-cream bombe for the January 2011 cover, sales soared by 245%.

This demonstrates the consistent success of Sainsbury's magazine in inspiring its 3.3 million readers to cook with and try new ingredients.

Consumer brands have also jumped at the chance of being commercially involved with the award-winning magazine. Last year's massive Christmas themed 276-page December 2011 issue, which had 86 more pages than the publication's average, secured an unprecedented 199 pages of advertising - an impressive 70% increase.

Vital statistics

1. Sainsbury's magazine's 3,296,000 readers make it the widest-read paid-for monthly magazine in Britain (NRS readership Jan-Dec 2011)

2. Sainsbury's magazine is proven to drive a significant uplift in product sales. (Aimia data 2011/12)

3. 70% of our readers agree that they are more likely to try new products at Sainsbury's as a result of reading Sainsbury's magazine. (January 2012 magazine reader survey. ResearchNow data.)

4. Over 95% of buyers of the magazine have made a recipe as a result of reading Sainsbury's magazine. (January 2012 magazine reader survey. ResearchNow data.)

Sarah Ellis, head of content at Sainsbury's says "Sainsbury's Magazine continues to show our customers how passionate we are about providing great food and helping them with ideas for how to cook it. Most importantly, it communicates what's special about Sainsbury's: great value, the best-quality food and a fabulous lifestyle range to go with it."

Agency Website:

« Previous case study Next case study »