Plugging the Insight Gap..........what brewers want to find out

We set out two months ago to create a completely new and accessible form of customer insight to the brewing sector


We announced that we would be reaching out to 5,000 UK beer and cider drinkers with our online survey in June.

This survey would uncover the attitude and motivations behind consumer and shopping behaviour. Not transactional data, but the true insight into why consumers do what they do.

And we made it accessible to the entire sector by setting a price of £500…crowdfunding the exercise to address the cost gap that prices out the smaller brewers.

Since then we’ve had many fantastic discussions with our investors, retail buyers and other sector experts. They’ve shared their challenges and frustrations, both with winning and keeping shelf space, and with sourcing decent insight. 

These discussions have helped us to shape the survey – four sections and the questions within each. Still 4 weeks to go, so plenty of time to fine-tune these, so if you want to get involved, get in touch!

General Behaviour & Attitudes

Okay, so this section does captures a bit of the “what consumer do” rather than why they do it – however this will enable us to cut the data by category, brand, retailer etc.

It also looks at what individual brands stand for in the eyes of their customers, what drives loyalty and why consumers switch.

Invaluable information to share with a retail buyer, or to guide your own marketing or NPD.

Craft Migration

We weren’t initially sure about this section, as Craft beer and cider does tend to get a disproportionate amount of attention compared to it’s market share.  

However, craft has certainly refreshed and grown the sector and has inspired hundreds of new brewers over the last 10 years. It also has a huge presence in stores. And with retailers starting to reduce the number of SKUs, brewers are facing an ever-more challenging trade discussion.

So, we’re trying to uncover the reasons for migration because future growth will rely on traditional lager and ale drinkers switching to craft.

Off Trade experience

A hugely varied section which will create some unique and differentiating discussions with buyers. We’ll also be able to benchmark each retailer against the others…

On Trade experience

For small brewers especially, pubs and bars are a more important route to market than retailers. Understanding how consumers choose what to drink in the pub, or even which pub to go, will be useful. Even more valuable will be the relationship between on Trade and Off Trade decision making.

So, that’s how it stands at the moment, but there are plenty of discussions still to happen so it’s likely to be refined further.

For more info, or to get involved, go to or call Mark Thomson on 07496 602553

Hello weekend, goodbye health!

This month we surveyed 1,031 Scottish food & drink shoppers to uncover their buying habits, but more importantly to understand the attitudes and perceptions that drive those behaviours.


Not just what they do, but why they do it.


It’s something that not enough food & drink suppliers look at when they’re developing new products, which is why 75% of them fail within the first year*.

Too many decisions during the NPD process are based on gut feel, and not enough on actual evidence provided by real customers.


There’s a good reason for this…the kind of customer insight we’re offering has always been hard to find, and the extremely cost prohibitive for SMEs. Shopping data yes, though expensive, but bespoke insight? Not so much.

And yet it can have a huge bearing on the chance of success of any new product. For example, take the simple question of which days certain food & drink products are consumed…

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82% of people surveyed say that they consume Health food & drink products between Monday and Thursday. Great news for the Scottish Government’s “A Healthier Future” agenda. And helpful info for companies developing new Health products. We also discovered that households with children under 12 years old are 11% more likely to buy Healthy products than the average, and that 48% of people say they buy Health products to keep their family healthy.

The flip side is that health F&D isn’t really on the radar over the weekend, so how you position your products can become more focused with this information.


The Job to be done

Consumers buy a product because it does a specific job or meets a specific need e.g. “to keep my family healthy”.

Discovering the “Job to be done” (ref. Harvard Business School) for the consumer can unlock market share, in a way that no amount of data ever could, because it gets at the causal driver behind a purchase.

More targeted insight during NPD might go on to uncover that the products needs to be easy to unwrap, not messy and keep a 7-year-old full until their lunch break. And doing that “job” better than other options can be the key to success.


Premium Saturday!

And when the weekend comes what do we do? A whopping 39% of shoppers say they consume Premium products on Saturday, and 74% in total over the weekend.

Right, we’re off to buy our steak and Prosecco for Saturday night!

Goodbye gut feel!

Today we launch

Scotland’s Innovation Survey

Food & Drink 2018 report

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Aimed at food & drink suppliers as well as retailers, who want to understand Scottish consumers better – what drives their shopping and consuming behaviour. Not only what they do, but why they do it.


What drives us? We want to see SMEs basing their NPD and innovation on customer insight and evidence, rather than gut feel.

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  1. Based on a survey of 1,031 Scottish shoppers, the 31-page report contains over 40 tables and infographics

  2. Finds out what motivates consumers in Scotland when they buy F&D products

  3. Looks in more detail at the areas of Health, Premium and Convenience

  4. Analysed by category and retailer

  5. Analysed by customer demographic and shopping mission (Main shop vs Top-up)