Review of the FSA’s Consumer Insights Tracker

3. Evaluation of the Consumer Insights Tracker

Review of the FSA’s Consumer Insights Tracker

Last updated: 14 August 2023

The fundamental question for the review is whether the Consumer Insights Tracker should be continued in its present form; that is as a monthly omnibus survey.  From the outset, it is important to highlight that there is widespread support for its continuation both within the FSA and in wider government.  On the one hand, the frequency and quick delivery of data provided by the Tracker is highly valued.  On the other, there are concerns that the time trends provided by the Consumer Insights Tracker, most notably with respect to affordability and food security, would be disrupted if the tracker were to be curtailed or reduced in frequency.  Of course, this later concern only holds if concerns about affordability and food security are maintained.  This highlights the need for the Consumer Insights Tracker to adapt and change over time as new issues emerge (see below).  This is one of the most critical issues needing attention looking to the future of the Tracker.

The central recommendation of the review, therefore, is that:

The Consumer Insights Tracker be continued substantively unchanged for a minimum of three years.

Beyond the continuation of the Consumer Insights Tracker, it is considered important that the longer-term sustainability of the Tracker is established.  On the one hand, the Consumer Insights Tracker is clearly valued by many stakeholders, both within the FSA and in Other Government Departments (OGDs).  On the other hand, extending the Consumer Insights Tracker for a more limited period (say, one year) and/or making decisions on its continuation on an ongoing basis (say, annually) would degrade its utility and impede effective strategic planning around the focus of the Tracker and how the data are utilised.  Many stakeholders value the Consumer Insights Tracker because they ‘know it is there’ when they need consumer data and are interested in extending their use of the Tracker as its subject coverage evolves and expands.  At least initially, a three-year time horizon for the continuation of the Consumer Insights Tracker seems appropriate.

While recommending the continuation of the Consumer Insights Tracker, it is evident that certain elements of the Tracker need attention.  These are outlined below:

The current methodology of the Consumer Insights Tracker brings several advantages, some of which are realised and others that could be more fully exploited. 

Each monthly survey can be undertaken quickly, such that the time between first going into field and the results being ready to be distributed to stakeholders is minimal. Thus, slides with the survey results (produced by the contractor) are distributed within the FSA and selective OGDs two to three weeks after initial fieldwork.  A monthly bulletin (produced internally by the FSA’s Social Science Team) is published on the FSA website, around one month after fieldwork, which allows the data to be quoted publicly and used by stakeholders outside of government.  This rapidity is a product of both the use of an omnibus panel and the fact that the external contractor undertakes most of the data handling and production of the slide deck that is a key component of the package that is distributed to stakeholders monthly.  While this speed of delivery is not essential for all stakeholders, it is widely valued by data users.  For example, one interviewee commented:

The Tracker is really the only source I have for real time data.  This means it is a go to for me when I am looking for the current situation when it comes to the struggles that consumers are having with food affordability.”

Evidently, the rapidity of the availability of survey results enhances the value of the Consumer Insights Tracker for many users of the data.  Notably, they can quickly disseminate results to senior officials and/or the media, and can also respond to questions from senior officials, Members of Parliament, etc. with survey data that is seen as ‘current’.

The monthly frequency of the Consumer Insights Tracker provides a regular snapshot of key metrics, for example relating to food security and/or consumer concerns about food.  This enables short-term and cyclical changes to be monitored and/or the impacts of specific food or other-related incidents, policy, and programme interventions to be captured.  For example, one interviewee commented:

The Tracker enabled us to capture the impacts of the government’s Cost of Living Payments. We could actually see the impact on the next month’s data on affordability and food security.”

The frequency of surveys, combined with the fact that the current contract for the Consumer Insights Tracker enables changes to questions between surveys, permits items to be added that capture cyclical changes (for example issues that are seasonal such as at Christmas) or that address emerging or immediate issues.  An example of the latter is the use of refrigerators and concerns about the implications for food safety in the context of escalating electricity prices and the economic downturn.  According to one interviewee:

They were able to add questions on the use of fridges given reports in the media that people were turning them off to save money.  The results caused quite a stir!  Without the Tracker we would not have been able to get at this.

There is also scope for the Consumer Insights Tracker to be employed to test communications strategies and/or messages.  This was recognised by at least one interviewee within the FSA’s Communications Team.

The Consumer Insights Tracker also enables original questions to be tested, for example that cover new issues and/or that employ revised wording, response mechanisms, etc.  While the Tracker would seem to have been under-utilised for this purpose, its potential utility in this regard was recognised, for example as a way of testing possible questions and/or areas of enquiry for Food and You 2 (F&Y2).

The use of an omnibus panel serves to reduce the cost of the Consumer Insights Tracker.  By their nature, omnibus panels are a lower-cost way of gathering consumer data than, for example, population-based surveys.  Also, the current contract enables the FSA to access a range of demographic variables that have been previously collected and that do not count in the monthly quota of questions.  Indeed, the only socio-demographic variable that is collected specifically for the Consumer Insights Tracker is health status.

Overall, therefore, the Consumer Insights Tracker presents a cost-effective way in which to gather regular data on a range of food-related issues and to make the results available in a timely manner to stakeholders within the FSA and in OGDs, and to organisations beyond government.  There is a compelling case, therefore, for the continuation of the Tracker both in the medium and long term.  At the same time, however, it is important to recognise that the Consumer Insights Tracker does have certain weaknesses that limit the utility of the data and their representativeness.  Many of these weaknesses relate to online panels and/or omnibus surveys as a broad approach to consumer data collection rather than the Consumer Insights Tracker specifically.  Further, these weaknesses do not negate the utility of the data provided by the Tracker as a whole, but rather need to be given due consideration in interpreting the results of the patterns and trends these data reveal.

Online surveys have recognised inbuilt biases in terms of their representativeness.  Such panels are biased against segments of the population with limited access to the internet, low digital literacy and/or with a lower propensity to answer online surveys, for example individuals from older age groups, those from low-income groups, etc.  For this reason, for example, the Consumer Insights Tracker only includes members of the population aged 16 to 75 years.  Importantly, this limitation is common to much of social science research using online surveys.

With omnibus surveys there is a lack of control and standardisation when it comes to questions that are asked prior to the Consumer Insights Tracker.  These prior questions have the potential to bias responses (for example, if they also relate to food, health, etc.), whilst this bias may vary from survey-to-survey.  Further, being unaware of the nature of the prior questions in any omnibus survey, it is difficult to assess the extent and/or direction of any bias.

The questions in the Consumer Insights Tracker are not routinely subject to cognitive testing. While cognitive testing would undoubtedly bring advantages in aiding responses to questions and guiding the selection of response mechanisms, this would increase costs, significantly enhance the amount of time needed to add new questions and reduce the flexibility of the Tracker.  On balance, the gains from cognitive testing of the questions in the Consumer Insights Tracker appear to be limited given the wider limitations of an omnibus survey-based approach and the restrictions this would bring.

The current sample size and limited range of demographic variables limit the level of reliable disaggregation that can be achieved within and across the countries covered by the survey.  For example, the ability to examine patterns in responses across regions is constrained, and to identify specific responses from population sub-groups (for example, minorities).  In some cases, furthermore, there is a lack of analysis on key demographic variables that would enable the more reliable interpretation of results.  For example, it has been observed that seemingly spurious differences in levels of food security by household income have been captured by the Tracker, which could conceivably result from not controlling for household size.

It is recognised that respondents to online and omnibus surveys tend to be less engaged with the subject at hand; in the case of the Consumer Insights Tracker this means that respondents are less likely to be actively engaged with issues around food than would be the case with other survey methods.  While this may limit their propensity to answer the questions presented to them and/or to attend to them less, most questions in the Tracker do not require specific subject knowledge and it is assumed that respondents do not possess a high level of subject knowledge. Further, more engaged respondents themselves could be considered a bias sub-set of the population.

Many stakeholders that are users of the Consumer Insights Tracker data highlighted the lack of data on the ‘why’ question.  For example:

"One of the big weaknesses of the Tracker is that it does not delve into why respondents give the answers they do.  I often want to know why individuals are facing problems accessing food or why they are worried about certain things about food.”

The questions in the Tracker are strictly limited to quantitative, excluding any open-ended responses, and do not delve into the reasons why previous responses have been provided.  Whilst this limits both the depth of data provided by the Consumer Insights Tracker and the ability to interpret the results this is arguably appropriate for a relatively short omnibus-based survey.  There are also cost implications of including open-ended questions.[2]

The coverage of the Consumer Insights Tracker excludes Scotland. This is due to the FSA’s remit covering England, Wales, and Northern Ireland, with Food Standards Scotland (FSS) being responsible for similar issues in Scotland.  Whilst this is communicated to stakeholders in the methodology section of the slide deck and in the monthly bulletin, it is evident that some stakeholders are unaware of this fact and interpret the data as applying for the whole of the United Kingdom.  Ways in which this characteristic of the Consumer Insights Tracker can be more prominently communicated to stakeholders need to be explored, perhaps by bolding the respective text.

Many Consumer Insights Tracker stakeholders recognise the limitations of the data and are guided by the Social Science Team at the FSA when it comes to their interpretation.  Although they may not fully understand how the data are collected, they trust the Social Science Team at the FSA to provide appropriate guidance; note that brief details of how the data are collected and guidance on interpretation are included when the results are reported.  Whilst this is not the purpose of the Consumer Insights Tracker, some users of the data reported frustration at the inability to get more disaggregated results and/or to draw valid inferences of causality with demographic variables.  For example:

Whilst the Tracker data are really useful, at times I need them split out more finely or to be able to make valid conclusions about how responses vary across the population.  The Social Science Team have warned us about not doing this.”

These users tend to be directed to the data from the Food and You 2 (F&Y2) surveys (see below).

Looking to the future, whilst recognising the above limitations, it is not recommended that substantive changes are made to the Consumer Insights Tracker in terms of frequency and use of an omnibus panel.   Overall, the current approach is considered to present an appropriate balance in terms of the quality of the data, cost, and impact, such that it presents significant value for money.  The three areas where attention is potentially warranted, however, are as follows:

  • The scope for increasing the range of demographic variables collected and/or analysed should be explored.  The example of controlling for household size when examining income is given as an example above.
  • Whilst it is not recommended that questions be subject to cognitive testing, it is suggested that the ACSS WCI Working Group should be consulted by the FSA team when new questions are proposed; this working group is a potentially valuable resource that could be more fully utilised moving forwards.
  • Greater prominence should be given to the fact that the Consumer Insights Tracker does not include Scotland when communicating the results to stakeholders.  For example, by bolding the respective text, including a footnote on each figure in the slide deck and/or monthly bulletin, etc.

Aside from the Consumer Insights Tracker, the FSA collects consumer data related to food through the Food and You 2 (F&Y2) survey.[3]  The F&Y2 survey is undertaken every six months and involves a random probability sample of around 6,000 adults aged 16 years and older. The survey is recruited for via ‘push-to-web’, which means that participants are contacted via post and asked to participate online.  A postal option to complete the questionnaire is also available.  The size of sample and data collection method mean that more detailed and disaggregated analysis can be undertaken, including at the regional level.

The longer length of the F&Y2 surveys means that it covers a wider range of consumer issues related to food.  There is some degree of overlap, however, between the Consumer Insights Tracker and F&Y2 although the data are not directly comparable.  For example, both surveys cover food insecurity but use different questions and cover different time periods.  Whilst this can result in differing data on the same issue, the differing approaches of the two surveys seems to be recognised amongst data users and is not the cause of appreciable confusion.

There is widespread support for the continuation of both the Consumer Insights Tracker and F&Y2, with recognition that these fulfil distinct and complimentary needs. Thus, the Tracker facilitates the regular monitoring of consumer issues and can be adapted (e.g., questions added) at short notice.  Conversely, F&Y2 enables more in-depth analysis but is less regular and, given the questions are subject to cognitive testing, less amenable to change.  Further, F&Y2 is modular, such that not all questions are asked in every wave of the survey.

While providing distinct data, the scope for greater coordination between the Consumer Insights Tracker and F&Y2 should be explored.  Thus, the Consumer Insights Tracker could be used more explicitly to test out new issues and/or questions for potential inclusion in F&Y2.  Further, greater comparability between the two surveys might be explored, for example in the form of questionnaire wording and/or coding, use of terminology, etc. 

3.3 Keeping the Consumer Insights Tracker relevant

Almost universally, the Consumer Insights Tracker is seen by data users as a metric of affordability and food security.  Indeed, amongst the individuals consulted as part of this review, there was minimal use of most (or even all) of the other data provided by the tracker.  For example:

I know it covers other things, but I really only look at the questions on affordability and food security.  To me, that is what the Tracker is about.”

In part, this outcome is by design.  Thus, the results from the Consumer Insights Tracker are purposefully packaged with data on the tracking of food prices in the monthly slide deck for the convenience of stakeholders. However, this likely serves to draw the attention of officials with responsibility for food security to the slide deck and might dissuade the attention of others who have an interest in other data provided by the tracker.  Looking to the future, this is a critical issue for the Consumer Insights Tracker.  Thus, what happens if and when affordability and food security become less of an issue in the future?

A key question with respect to the future of the Consumer Insights Tracker, therefore, is the continued relevance of the issues it covers in the face of shifts in consumer concerns and/or policy priorities.  One of the key strengths of the Tracker, due to its regularity, is the ability to add new questions to investigate emerging issues.  In so doing, however, it is important not to undermine the time trends of data the tracker provides, for example with respect to affordability and food security.

It is not apparent that a clear mechanism exists for identifying new issues to be integrated into the Consumer Insights Tracker and/or to test questions.  Rather, issues and/or questions seem to emerge through a rather ad hoc process within the Social Science Team at the FSA.  The implication is that the success of the Tracker in its coverage of critical issues to date, most notably affordability and food security, cannot be guaranteed in the future.  Rather a more explicit and coherent process of identifying new issues and testing these out with the Consumer Insights Tracker to maintain its relevance is needed.

Through the review process, several ideas emerged for ways in which new issues might be identified by the team responsible for the day-to-day operation of the Consumer Insights Tracker.  These include:

  • Regular consultation with the ACSS WCI Working Group on emerging issues and the types of questions that might be integrated into the tracker to capture these.
  • Inviting users of the Consumer Insights Tracker data to suggest new topic areas and/or specific issues that they would like to see integrated into the tracker, for example through periodic emails/meetings or an open invitation to submit ideas.
  • Regular consultation with the Strategic Insights Team responsible for social media listening to identify issues on which consumers are engaging.
  • Development of closer and more frequent interactions with the Strategic Insights Team within the FSA to identify ‘higher level’ issues that the Consumer Insights Tracker might incorporate.
  • More systematic monitoring of the data provided by other surveys, for example those periodically undertaken by the Food Foundation and other government departments, for example the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).

Also, there is a need for the Consumer Insights Tracker to reflect more fully the range of issues covered by the third pillar of the FSA’s strategy.  Sustainability and healthier food are examples here. 

3.4 Value of the Consumer Insights Tracker data

From the consultation with personnel within the FSA and wider government, it is evident that the data from the Consumer Insights Tracker are valued and consulted frequently.  Thus, numerous instances were given where these data had been integrated into briefings for senior colleagues within the FSA and/or government ministers (an area where the FSA was facing growing demand), in presentations to the FSA Board and/or in the preparation responses to questions from Members of Parliament, in media releases, etc.  For example:

“I use the data from the Consumer Insights Tracker regularly.  I am always being asked for the most recent data, for example on affordability, which the Tracker gives me. There is really no other source of these data.”

Apart from these tangible instances of data from the Consumer Insights Tracker being used, the value of the data as a way of monitoring issues and/or simply ‘being there when needed’ was frequently cited.  For example:

“It is always good to know that the Tracker is there for when I need up-to-date consumer data.  I often use it to support my communications with senior colleagues or to make what I am saying more real.”

The value of the Consumer Insights Tracker data very much comes from its frequency, quick delivery, and the fact that it provides longer-term time trends.  Many users of the data require information that is seen as recent and relevant.  Data from F&Y2 and/or the Office of National Statistics (ONS) can be seen as ‘out of date’ in the case of rapidly evolving issues such as food affordability.  For example:

“I recognise the weaknesses of the Consumer Tracker, for example compared to Food and You 2, and the two really are complementary, but its big benefit is how often and how quickly it provides data.  On things that are fast moving, it is the only data round.”

In contrast to F&Y2, where data are available six or more months following completion of the survey, the Consumer Insights Tracker provides data that relates to only two or three weeks previously.  At the same time, because monthly data are available on many issues since mid-2020, it is possible to see longer-term trends and/or or to discern the impacts of policy initiatives.

Another recognised utility of the Consumer Insights Tracker is the ability to adapt questions over time, for example by season, and/or to add in issues that are immediate issues.  The example of refrigerator use was frequently cited, that had been motivated by media reports that consumers were turning off their refrigerator and reducing cooking times to reduce energy bills and save money in the context of rising energy costs in winter months in the height of the cost-of-living crisis.  Data from the Consumer Insights Tracker suggested that these behaviours were indeed observed quite frequently.  Within the FSA, this finding, in turn, provided a push for the updating of advice on the storage and cooking of food during power cuts and its application to contexts where efforts are being made to conserve power.  At the same time, routine questions in the Tracker, for example relating to trust in the FSA and/or confidence in the food system, enable sudden changes to be identified in the case of an incident.

Whilst recognising the great value of the Consumer Insights Tracker data as currently made available to stakeholders within the FSA and in wider government, it is evident that the full value of these data is currently not utilised.  Thus, whilst members of the Consumer Insights Tracker team do respond to ad hoc requests for further information and/or analysis from stakeholders, minimal additional analysis is undertaken, for example analysis by demographic or regional sub-groups is only undertaken annually.  Thus, the team tend to obtain further cross-tabulations of data through the Data Liberation Tool owned by Ipsos UK rather than undertaking original analysis themselves.

Whilst the team do have the required statistical skills and access to the original survey data, they lack the time to undertake data handling, and more so in-depth data analysis, themselves.  Further, for time to be spent on additional analysis, there is a need to demonstrate a real business need.  To make full use of the data, ways need to be explored through which, the time of the Consumer Insights Tracker team can be freed-up to enable them to undertake more extensive statistical analysis of the Consumer Insights Tracker data, both in response to queries from stakeholders and on the volition of the Consumer Insights Tracker team themselves.

3.5 Wider benefits to the FSA and the Social Science Team

Beyond the value of the Consumer Insights Tracker data itself, it is evident that the tracker serves to promote the work of the FSA within wider government.  Thus, because of the regular data outputs provided by the Tracker, there are more regular interactions between personnel within the FSA and other government departments.  Furthermore, the work of the FSA is cited more frequently and in different ways than would be the case in the absence of the Consumer Insights Tracker. For example, some personnel in other government departments highlighted how the Tracker served to raise awareness and interest in the work of the FSA.  For example:

“Because of the Tracker I have become more aware of the work that the FSA does.  Without the Tracker I would have much less need to interact with the FSA.  It has massively increased their profile amongst my colleagues.”

There were several specific instances, indeed, of interactions and/or collaborations with the FSA that might not occur in the absence of the Consumer Insights Tracker.

Importantly, the FSA was seen as a reliable and technically robust provider of data, most specifically with respect to affordability and food security and the regular data outputs from the Consumer Insights Tracker. There were frequent references to the fact that the data currently collected are not available from elsewhere, or that alternative data are from sources considered to be less reliable.[4]  Also, that the Social Science Team are responsive to requests for additional data and/or their willingness to respond to questions and concerns about the Consumer Insights Tracker data and their strengths and weaknesses. 

A further potential benefit for the FSA of the Consumer Insights Tracker, is the support it provides for media engagement on topical issues.  Here, for example, not only the issue of affordability was cited, but also the formulation of recommendations and messaging around refrigerator use and consumption of foods beyond the use-by date (UBD) that had been inspired, at least in part, by results from the Tracker.  Also, the ability to tailor media engagement to seasonal needs.  Indeed, one benefit of the Consumer Insights Tracker, recognised by several interviewees, was that it provided a regular flow of evidence through which the FSA can proactively engage with the media and/or be able to respond to media enquiries.  Thus:

“The regularity of the data given by the Tracker allows us to respond to questions from the media with recent data.  It also gives us a regular flow of results that we can use through social media to communicate what the FSA is doing.”

The Consumer Insights Tracker also positively impacts the visibility and reputation of the Social Science Team within the FSA itself.  Thus, the regular supply of data provided by the tracker, and the ability to respond to immediate and/or emerging issues, was recognised to generate greater interactions between technical specialists and social scientists within the Agency.  For example, one individual suggested that the Tracker enabled the Social Science Team to ‘punch above its weight’ and demonstrated the relevance of social science to the work more generally of the FSA:

“There is no doubt to me that the Consumer Tracker has raised the profile of the Social Science Team within the FSA and the rest of government.  It is probably the most visible thing they do.” 

3.6 Communication of results

Currently, the results from the Consumer Insights Tracker are communicated in four ways:

  • A monthly slide deck (produced by the contractor) that is distributed by email within the FSA and wider government and includes the results of social media listening and food price tracking that are provided by other analytic teams within the FSA.  Note that this output is not published.
  • Monthly bulletin (produced by the Social Science Team) that is published monthly (with accompanying data tables) on the FSA website. Prior to publication, a range of OGDs and third sector stakeholders (such as those in academia or the charity sector) are alerted to the upcoming publication via an email from the FSA’s Head of Social Science. Publication of the bulletins began in October 2022 and before which data from the Consumer Insights Tracker were only made available at less regular intervals (alongside the publication of longer reports such as in November 2021 and May 2022). The monthly bulletin contains the same data and information as the slides, but is a more accessible format, and is suitable for publication according to the relevant Government guidelines.
  • End of year report on the Consumer Insights Tracker with long-term trends and demographic analysis.
  • Included in a chapter in the annual food standards report of the FSA which provides a summary of results from the Consumer Insights Tracker for the previous year alongside other data sources.

Overall, the communication of data from the Consumer Insights Tracker was highly commended, especially with respect to the rapidity with which results were made available; as noted above, results are generally disseminated within the FSA within two to three weeks of each survey going to field.  The fact that these data are received monthly means that users looked out for them and make a point of flagging the respective email for attention, even if they do not attend to it immediately on receipt.

Of all the means of dissemination, it is the monthly side deck that receives most attention.  The slide deck itself is referred to routinely by very few stakeholders.  Most read the executive summary (at the start of the slides) and only refer to specific slides when they identify a noteworthy result in the summary.  Indeed, many individuals that were interviewed for this review found the slides to be overwhelming (there are around 55 slides in the deck), and some found it to be complicated and difficult to comprehend.  There is evidently a need to consider how the slide deck could be improved to communicate better key results to stakeholders.  Options here might include:

  • Reducing the number of slides in the deck that is routinely emailed to stakeholders, with others available on request or on a dedicated internal webpage.
  • Simplifying some slides in the deck, especially those that report multiple questions and with the results over time for each.
  • Breaking the slide deck and executive section down into more explicit sections, and perhaps emailing each section to different stakeholders and/or at different times.  It is important to recognise here, however, that this could be time consuming given the number of distinct stakeholder groups the results of the Consumer Insights Tracker are communicated to.

Importantly, some of these changes may require adjustments to the external contract for the Consumer Insights Tracker.  Also, there will likely be more tasks for the Consumer Insights Tracker team within the FSA to undertake.  Resources will need to be made available to facilitate this.

The current slide deck also includes the results of social media listening and food price monitoring.  Most of the individuals that were interviewed did not refer to these sections; it seems that the audience for the Consumer Insights Tracker and for these other sections is quite distinct.  To reduce the length of the slide deck, make it less overwhelming and to target better the distinct constituencies for the different elements of the slide deck, separating out the Consumer Insights Tracker, social media listening and food price tracking into distinct slide decks should be considered.[5]  In the case of the Consumer Insights Tracker, this would also serve to highlight that the focus of the tracker extends beyond food security.

The individuals interviewed for this review indicated that they make little or no use of the monthly bulletin.[6]  Note, however, that the scope of this review did not include engagement with stakeholders external to government, that are a key target constituency of the monthly bulletin.  Further, officials within the FSA responsible for the Consumer Insights Tracker indicated that they had received positive feedback on the monthly bulletin from external stakeholders.  Note that a key rationale for the bulletin is to enable officials within the FSA and OGDs to reference the Consumer Insights Tracker data publicly.  This would support the continuation of the monthly bulletin.

There is more of a question mark, however, over the end of year report on the Consumer Insights Tracker.  It is apparent that, whilst this report is labour intensive, there is a lack of evidence that it is utilised by the target stakeholders of the Tracker.  Indeed, of all the individuals interviewed for this review, not one indicated that they made use of the report when it comes to the results from the Consumer Insights Tracker.  While senior officials within the FSA currently require this, the continuation of the end of year report on the Consumer Insights Tracker and/or the scope and format of the report should be reviewed, especially if demographic breakdowns of results could be provided on a regular more frequent basis.  Arguably, the resources within the Consumer Insights Tracker team could be better utilised, for example in ways outlined above.

Finally, there is scope to explore new ways of making data from the Consumer Insights Tracker available to stakeholders and that highlight key findings of each survey and trends over time.  Options here might include infographics or an online dashboard.


[2] Note, however, that the tender for the Consumer Insights Tracker does include the possibility of including open-ended questions.

[3] Note that F&Y2 is an official statistic and so subject to more rigorous quality control procedures than the Consumer Insights Tracker.

[4] There were references to the political sensitivity of food security that would make it difficult for other parts of government, that may have more directly responsibility for this issue, to collect data themselves.

[5] Note that these are produced by different analytical teams, such that this implies that each team might produce their own slide decks.  To some extent, this is a return to the prior situation, for example where the Economics Team produced their own bulletin with data that included food prices.

[6] Note, however, that the interviews for this report were undertaken soon after the commencement of the monthly bulletin, such that awareness at the time may have been more limited than is currently the case.