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A grocery retailer

Shopper behaviour

Exploring the impact of the cost-of-living crisis on health and sustainability.

Our client, a UK top five grocery retailer, wanted to investigate the impact of the cost-of-living crisis on the health and sustainability of their customers’ shopping habits.

The Challenge

Our client came to us wanting to understand the impact that the economic pressures have had on shoppers over the last 12 months.

This was a unique project where the retailer was working in partnership with a consortium of academics to understand the impact of rising prices on the health of diets and sustainable purchasing habits.

Their key objective was to identify ways in which they could further support shoppers to make the right choice. It was also key for the client to understand the ‘say/do gap’; the difference between how shoppers claimed to behave and their actual shopping behavior.

Our approach

In order to achieve the most accurate representation of the ‘say/do gap’, we matched attitudinal data from a 15-minute online survey with transaction data for this same shopper cohort drawn from their loyalty card spend. We focused our research on shoppers who said that this was their main supermarket, so that the majority of their grocery spend would be captured within the transaction data.

We worked closely with our advanced analytics team to help us prioritize key information within the vast dataset available to us.

Initially, we focused at a food group level, so that we could look at the balance and overall health of the products purchased. We then broke-down the data by key shopper sub-groups, so that we could pinpoint specific audiences to target, and provide a detailed understanding of their relevant shopping behaviors.

The outcome

Through this systematic and rigorous analysis of the dataset, we were able to identify three key groups we felt would be the key priority for our client and the academic to focus on.

We then worked with specialists in behavioral science to set out the key principles that should be applied when working with these three population groups. We then developed ‘consumer stories’ to bring life to the research and help stakeholders connect with the data.

As a result of this work, the client and their academic consortium were able to identify areas of focus for future health and sustainability interventions, as well as for further research.  The project also delivered key insights which the client could apply across the retail sector and take into broader public health discussions.

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