Review of the FSA’s Consumer Insights Tracker

2. The Consumer Insights Tracker

Review of the FSA’s Consumer Insights Tracker

Last updated: 14 August 2023

The Consumer Insights Tracker is a regular data collection instrument that has historically collected data on the following issues:

  • Food affordability and other aspects of food security.
  • Food availability.
  • Consumer concerns in relation to food.
  • Confidence in the food supply chain.
  • Confidence in the FSA as a regulator.
  • Food safety-related behaviour, and in particular consumption of food beyond the use-by date (UBD).

The Consumer Insights Tracker is undertaken through a monthly survey of individuals aged 16 to 75 years in England, Wales, and Northern Ireland.  The sample size is around 2,000 individuals each month.  Demographic quotas for age, sex, region, working status and social grade are applied, such that the sample is broadly representative of the population of these three countries.

The Consumer Insights Tracker has its origin in tracker surveys undertaken during the COVID-19 pandemic that commenced in April 2020.  From November 2021 to January 2022, the Consumer Insights Tracker was implemented approximately every two weeks, but since has run monthly.

The Consumer Insights Tracker is implemented as part of an online omnibus survey managed by an external agency, namely Ipsos UK.  The omnibus survey is in the field for three full days over a weekend each month (usually the second weekend), according to the current contract.  Participants are drawn from a panel of individuals (Ipsos iSay). Respondents are incentivised through a points system, with points being redeemable for rewards that include gift cards, virtual prepaid cards, merchandise, and charitable donations.  Panel members are excluded from participation in the Consumer Insights Tracker if they have completed the survey in the previous month.  Various standard checks are employed to detect and exclude panel members that are inattentive in completing the survey.[1]


[1] For example, based on the speed with which respondents complete a survey and/or the number of answers provided.  Panel members are assessed in this regard not only with respect to a single survey, but also multiple surveys.