The healthy eating brand
A Tesco case study

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Page 2: Research

The decision of Tesco to get involved in Healthy Eating was brought about by two things:

  • The extensive media coverage of reports into diet and eating patterns in the UK in the early 1980s. These reports established a link between poor diet and ill health and set out that:

'If people are to change their diet then they must be informed of the need for change and of how the change may be implemented and be given the necessary enabling information.'

  • Tesco had been aware of a steady increase in the number of enquiries it had been getting from customers about the nutritional values of its products and also requests from people wishing to make changes to their diet.

These two triggers led to the commissioning by Tesco of a Gallup Poll, to try and ascertain exactly what people were concerned about and what information they would like. Gallup is a major UK independent market research group. Gallup carried out research on behalf of Tesco in 1984 and 1987. It was based on street interviews to a representative nation wide sample of housewives. The sorts of questions asked were:

Q.1. How concerned are you about eating healthily?
Very concerned.
Fairly concerned.
Not very concerned.
Not at all concerned.
Don’t know.
Q.2. Which three aspects of your health concerns you most from the list below?
General fitness.
Being overweight.
Blood pressure.
Heart disease.

Examples of the results that were extracted from the market research were that:

  • Concern with eating healthily is high (4 in 5 consumers are “very” or “fairly concerned”) and this tends to be highest amongst 25-54 year olds and the higher social grades.
  • In March 1987, respondents appeared more concerned with general health issues than with specific illnesses.
  • An increasing number of consumers were looking at information given on product labels.
  • More information was required about product additives.

Tesco | The healthy eating brand