FMCG Research Summit


    Join brands, retailers and agencies to hear how novel research approaches are dramatically improving cost, speed, agility and quality of insight generation in FMCG; from concept development through to customer purchase. Find out what’s important to consumers in 2020 and respond to changing consumer needs faster and better.

    Key contributions from:

    GSK, Tesco, Unilever, ASDA, Mondelez, SPAR, Bibendum Wine, AHDB and more to be announced…

    • Explore FMCG consumer trends and deepen understanding of consumers’ lives, motivations, attitudes and behaviour
    • Evaluate the effectiveness of data driven insight for delivering low cost insight without compromising on quality
    • Examine how behavioural methodologies are enabling lean and agile design & innovation process
    • Examine methodologies to reconnect brands with their customers’ bricks and mortar customer journeys
    • Examine original ways to convey powerful research stories to stakeholders
    • Unpick what sustainability really means for brands and consumers

    09.00 Registration & coffee


    09.30 Opening remarks from the Chair Steve Looney, Research Director, Opinium


    09.40 Putting quality first to help Tesco retain a top position in market

    Tesco and Walnut Unlimited embarked on a ground-breaking, two-year program of research with one overarching goal: to put quality first in Tesco’s FMCG product range. Face-to-face research and taste tests were conducted with a staggering 80,000 consumers across the UK providing an unprecedented understanding of quality perceptions for Tesco and competitors. In this talk, Walnut Unlimited & Tesco will share a detailed breakdown of the approach, highlights of the findings and impacts on the business, as well as the operational learnings from undertaking this mammoth project.

    Lucinda Gardner, Research Manager, Walnut Unlimited Natalie Arpino, Insight Manager, Brand Insights, Tesco


    10.10 Panel session: where brands act like Trump whilst wearing the mask of Greta

    In the post truth era where a US President takes on a 17 year old girl, what parallels can be drawn between FMCG brands who subscribe to the view that urgent climate action is “unrealistic” vs. brands who are genuinely focussed on reducing plastic waste and being key contributors in the Circular Economy right now? What are the true implications of urgent climate action for FMCG brands? This session will bring together panellists to discuss:

    • Can FMCG brands talk like Greta whilst acting like Trump? What brand claims vs. brand actions will consumers tolerate?
    • Morality and legality in the environmental age: what are the implications for brands?
    • Good and bad examples of brands and categories who have/have not connected with the environmental zeitgeist
    • The role of research & innovation in better connecting FMCG brands with consumers in a hyper-ethical age. Implications for brand positioning, packaging and overall supply chain

    Chaired by: Adele GrittenChief Executive Officer, Cambridge MR Adam Palenicek, Insights Director Consumer Needstates – Coca-Cola Eleanor Herrin, CEO, Farmdrop Estelle Dehon, Barrister


    10.40 Morning refreshments


    11.10 Understanding the modern consumers’ food mindset

    We trust farmers but have no idea what they do. We want a more transparent food system but don’t read product labels. Some of us say we are vegans but eat pork regularly. At a time of changing diets and unprecedented scrutiny of the journey from farm to fork, Blue Marble teamed up with AHDB to explore the complexities of the modern consumer mind. Encompassing everything from flexitarianism to toys for pigs, this research provides a powerful window into how consumers feel – or think they feel – about the food system and pointers on how food and retail brands can meet consumer expectations.

    Laura Weston, Research Manager, Blue Marble Susie Stannard, Consumer Insight Manager, Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board


    11.40 Data and dentists – two things no one should be afraid of!

    While some may actively avoid the pain of going to the dentist (dentophobia), for GSK marketers the delight of a dentist visit is in the insight gained – and the pain is in the difficulty of eliciting revealing insights from Dental Experts at large scale and reasonable cost. Traditionally, GSK Consumer Health prioritised insight discovery through face-to-face networking, alongside high cost expert surveys and focus groups. Insights are found, but it is prohibitive to scale and difficult to avoid the professional bias inherent in surveys and discussion groups. So, GSK Consumer Health decided to test a novel approach, creating and analysing digital data sets:

    • Iteratively exploring structured and unstructured data
    • Using pioneering analytical technologies such as network and influence modelling and text mining with natural language processing
    • Developing a bespoke global crawler to identify key topics and themes

    Hear how data insights delivered an effective engagement and relevancy programme for GSK Consumer Health.

    Andrzej Moyseowicz, Founder – Innovation Director, Freemavens Matteo De Angelis, Client Lead, Freemavens Alexandra Wren, Global Consumer Business Insights & Analytics Director, Oral Health, GSK Consumer Health


    12.10 A snapshot of the nation: using photography to provide a new lens on customers’ lives for Asda

    Despite the vast amount of data that Asda holds on customers, the link to real customers can sometimes be lost amongst the data. The Asda Insight team wanted to bring customers to life, for their Executive team, grounding the data they engage with in an in-depth view of real customers. In this session ResearchBods will share how they brought customers’ lives to life through the medium of photos which together with other customer information generated an interactive photo dashboard for the Asda’s Insight team. Hear how the tool has informed areas such as Christmas 2019 campaign analysis, planning for 2020 and has also aided NPD.

    Elaine Morris, Insight Director, ResearchBods Liz Lamb, Senior Director, Customer Insight Data Analytics, ASDA


    12.40 When insight does marketing: delivering ‘beautiful’ research stories to key stakeholders

    Unilever needed to put their new deodorant to the test – REALLY to the test – beyond home usage, beyond qual and beyond hot room and scientific testing. The insight team needed to tell a powerful efficacy story to get internal and external stakeholders fully on board and to bring to life consumer feedback. Partnering with Unilever and Phoenix Dance Theatre, BlueYonder created a TVC standard, research based testimonial demo, that pushed the boundaries of R&D and delivered results more precise, more real, more powerful (and far more time and cost effective) than the work of traditional marketing agencies. A new era of insight stories had begun!

    Hannah Rogers, Client Lead, BlueYonder Representative, Unilever


    13.10 Lunch


    14.10 Panel: the role of research in driving forward packaging and brand design

    As we enter a new decade it’s important for brands to consider consumers’ changing relationship with the designed world around them. The evolution of AI and AR, both which bring brands to life like never before, means that design will have more power than ever to make (or break) consumers’ relationship with brands. Maintaining a human-centred approach will be essential in with the advent of these exciting new technologies, with research playing a key role. Join panellists to consider:

    • How will consumers relationship with design change over the coming decade?
    • The role of packaging and design in a post single-use universe
    • How should we research consumers’ ever-more complex relationship with new touchpoints?

    Chaired by: Chris Aukett, Director, The Big Picture Panellist: Cecilia Sylvan Martin, Director The Big Picture Jill Marshall, Consultant to the creative industry John Mathers, Chairman, British Deligh Fund Dan Broadwood, Marketing Director, PLENISH


    14.40 Delivering lean and agile NPD innovation 

    Mondelez’s SnackFutures innovation team was looking for a more efficient and learning-based approach to developing the ideas and executions for a new disruptive snacking brand. The new brand centres around trends in sustainability and reusing waste materials to produce delicious and healthy snacks. Hear how a new behavioural science approach produced a smarter and faster research process as a viable alternative to the traditional NPD research process. SnackFutures are now sprinting, creating minimum viable products (MVP’s), testing, learning and soft-launching products much earlier in the innovation process and reducing overall time to market.

    Nicki Morley PhD, Senior Director and Innovation lead, Kantar, Insights Division, UK Barbara Schandl, Insights Lead of SnackFutures Innovation, Mondelez International


    15.10 Using online qual survey for exploratory category research

    SPAR, the world’s largest international food chain, used a new research methodology, namely an online “Qual survey”, for the first time in Q4 2019 to explore consumer attitudes and language around sustainability and packaging in the fresh produce category, in preparation for a possible repositioning of its offer. Understand the motivations for SPAR selecting this novel approach and the benefits and outcomes achieved.

    Richard Clark, Director, MRQual David Bird, Research & Insights Manager, SPAR UK


    15.40 Afternoon refreshments


    16.00 Pourtraits: designing fun, appealing wine labels for revellers

    To engage a new generation of wine shoppers, Bibendum Wine wanted to understand whether label design and format could help them grow the category. Could the success of cans and fun labelling experienced by the beer industry be leveraged in wine?

    In this session, Bibendum Wine and FlexMR will detail how this question was answered using a unique Pourtraits Segmentation and online consumer panel. Hear how the project encouraged quick, honest and engaged feedback from consumers that actively shaped packaging that appealed to them. Examine key outcomes from this project and how the approach has enabled Bibendum Wine to put new designs forward with confidence.

    Maria Twigge Research Director, FlexMR Alex Chambers, Research & Insight Manager, Bibendum Wine


    16.30 The US jeans shopper and how to buck current retail trends

    Over recent years, bricks and mortar retail has suffered globally due to the rise in online shopping. Classic retail spaces have adapted to find new ways to entice the consumer through their doors. Consequently, Lee jeans felt they no longer fully understood their consumer journey in bricks and mortar retail environments. Sales figures were declining in the US, their home market, but was this down to brand issues, retail environment, specific fixtures or possibly changes in how consumers feel about, and buy and wear, jeans? Magenta will take you through the multi-stage methodology they used, which included an online digital taskforce, accompanied shops, instore observation and a quantitative survey, to unpick the strategic issues and provide actionable brand and retail strategy.

    Dr Sarah Jenkins, Director, Magenta Research

    17.00 Closing comments from the Chair

    17.05 End of conference