The Shopper Moment of Truth


Stephen Lomax (Weetabix) and Simon Shaw (Trinity McQueen) show how they collaborated to develop ground-breaking new insights into how people buy breakfast cereal.


The Shopper Moment of Truth

Much of supermarket shopping is done on autopilot: we needed to unpack this habitual, system-one behaviour.

Inspired by principles from behavioural economics we triangulated new methods to evidence habitual shopping behaviour.

The outcome: a simplification strategy making the whole category easier to shop – and Weetabix brands easier to find.

We show how this new shopper insight contributed to commercial success:

  • The Weetabix Food Company delivered growth in a declining market;
  • The Weetabix brand reached its highest market share on record.


We show how the profile of insight increased at Weetabix following the research.

We show how this new, compelling understanding of the cereal shopper changed Weetabix’s relationships with retailers, helping them build trust and develop collaborative working relationships.

3 takeaways to use on your next project:

  • Getting started: Re-framing our objectives using principles from behavioural economics was the foundation of our success. This mapped the likely biases at play and helped us form hypotheses.
  • Getting the right data: We triangulated methodologies carefully. Effective in-store behaviour change interventions are reliant on evidencing habitual system 1 shopping behaviour. Had we not spent time obsessively coding hours of video footage of real shopping behaviour outcomes would have been radically different. The principle of triangulation also applied to the project team - which ranged from RE to MD.
  • Influencing for change: The project was a success because we didn’t show all the data – we told the story. What we left out was as important as what we left in. This meant bespoke decks for 8 major UK retailers telling them what mattered for their shoppers in a format which suited their organisation.


Authors:  Stephen Lomax (Weetabix) and Simon Shaw (Trinity McQueen)

Members: Full presentation available here.