The impact of self-service
The development of self-service stores provided an opportunity for Sainsbury's to expand and modernise their range of packaged products.
Old own brand product names such as 'Crelos' and 'Selsa' had been discontinued during the war and were not reintroduced. New products were clearly branded with the Sainsbury name.
Canned goods were important in the years before frozen food and ready meals. (Only 24% of households had a fridge in 1959). During the 1950s Sainsbury's increased its range of canned fruit and vegetables along with tinned meats such as Spam and corned beef. Canned curry was available by the early 1960s.
The new self-service stores featured 'produce' departments for the first time. Tomatoes and cucumbers were already sold alongside Sainsbury's cooked meats and cheeses, but the new Lewisham branch, opened in 1955, was the first to stock apples, citrus fruits, grapes, bananas and potatoes.
Wrapped bread was also sold for the first time in self-service stores and Sainsbury's introduced its own brand New Enriched Loaf in 1964.
Another feature of the 1950s was the introduction of 'ready-to-cook' frozen chicken. New mass-production methods brought prices down and Sainsbury's advertising promoted chicken as an inexpensive family meal.
Find out more about packaging for self-service
Find out more about advertising frozen chicken