The great British porridge boom, largely brought about by the explosion in sales of instant pots and sachets, represents the type of development in changing shopper behaviour that FMCG suppliers need to understand better when planning their NPD, marketing and activation activity.

Customer, category management and shopper marketing specialist, Bridgethorne says new research showing that 49% of people in Britain eat porridge regularly, of which nearly a quarter (23%) have a bowl almost every day, shows how both convenience and a drive towards healthier eating are among the factors influencing decision making by shoppers.

“As suppliers and retailers grapple for shopper loyalty in a climate of rapidly changing and diverging lifestyles, power in the retail space has shifted to the shopper,” explains John Nevens, co-founder, Bridgethorne. “Suppliers to the hot breakfast market have understood that engaging with the demands of shoppers’ lifestyles, whether it be single person households, busy working lives or healthy lifestyle, with everything from packaging to portion size is as vital as the ingredients themselves when trying to influence shoppers’ purchasing decisions.”

Diversity in packaging, from sachets to pots, as well as flavours and preparation methods has seen suppliers change the image of porridge from one of ‘too much hassle for a busy lifestyle’ to one of the most convenient and healthy options available.

“By getting to grips with what a time-poor shopper really wants and needs from a breakfast product suppliers have developed an option where everything from the ingredients, portions, packaging and preparation methods appeal to a specific shopper. This has ensured that those looking for quick, convenient and healthy breakfast options return purchase their products week on week, which in turn can foster better supplier-retailer relationships as both parties enjoy increased sales,” adds Nevens.

Bridgethorne has developed a series of approaches that will help supplier organisations address key aspects of Integrated Shopper Management as it pertains to their particular circumstances. Areas that can be addressed range from shopper understanding, through strategy and planning right up to activation and evaluation.