Understanding Shopper Behaviour Understanding Shopper Behaviour

The Norwich Business School Who Buys My Food project is led by Professor Andrew Fearne and supported by two Research Associates, Lucy Coupe and Sophie Barnard - and one PhD student – Nadia Koerniawan. The project, which is run in partnership with dunnhumby and Tesco, provides farmers and small food and drink producers with actionable insight derived from the analysis of supermarket loyalty card (Tesco Clubcard) data. The project has been running for over eleven years and has assisted over 650 small food and drink businesses.


Shopper Insight

Shopper Insight results from the analysis of data (qualitative and quantitative) from a variety of sources – (e.g. surveys, focus groups, loyalty cards, checkout scanners) -  the purpose of which is to improve our understanding of the relationships between the purchasing behaviour of specific shopper segments (e.g. trialists versus repeaters, heavy users versus light users, single households versus families) and the numerous factors (e.g. awareness, attitudes, availability, product positioning, promotions) that can impact the purchase decision-making process (before, during and after) in specific (shopping) contexts (e.g.on-line versus in-store, planned versus impulse purchase, bulk buying versus top-up shopping).  Shopper insight is a critical input to shopper marketing - the (unique) stage of the marketing process that brings shoppers, manufacturers and retailers together – closing the loop between demand and supply.


Business Benefits

Businesses that use shopper insight benefit from making informed marketing decisions rather than decisions based on assumptions, subjective judgment or convenience. This is particularly important for small business, who lack critical resources (time and cash) and cannot afford to ‘hit and hope’ when it comes to pricing, marketing communication and distribution. Clarity of purpose and a distinctive USP are critical ingredients for success and shopper insight helps businesses to establish their identity in the hearts, minds and shopping baskets of specific shopper segments and use their (scarce) marketing resources more effectively by focusing on their core demand - targeting their core shoppers and their core stores. 


Many thanks to you and your team, this is very interesting and hugely useful to our journey!”

 Mark Neville - The Good Whey Company


“Thank you for the work you’ve done and continue to do for the local suppliers. It is much appreciated and totally invaluable”. 

Stevie Sedgwick - Thistly Cross Cider


It’s always great to get more understanding of the product performance”

Ola - Daffodil Foods


“I urge all Tesco Local suppliers to use Who Buys My Food. #businesscritcalinsight #investthetime”

Lisa Worthington via Twitter, Dorset Tea.


The webinars have been brilliant and it has been great to have such intelligent direction rather than feeling you're just bumbling along!"


Karen Boyd - Pizzado



For more information about the way businesses can use shopper insight to support different aspects of their marketing planning and decision-making see our growing list of case studies


Follow us on Twitter @WhoBuysMyFoodUK




Case Studies



Tesco Local Supplier Network