Autumn’s Anecdata


I don’t know about you, but I have been swamped with ‘anecdata’ about what’s going to happen this autumn. You might not have heard the word anecdata – it’s a blend of the anecdote and actual data – but you know it when you see it. It’s when folks take a personal observation and generalise it – rather than taking a more scientific approach. Sometimes it’s all you’ve got to go on, other times – well, let’s just say there are better ways of getting your intel.

Well, my anecdata has been that projects are back on, changes are afoot and cautious optimism in the trade is rising.

Yes, Brexit with its many questions is in the wings and yes, concerns around the impact of a second wave of COVID appear to have some substance. But business is getting done, products are getting launched, range reviews are landing, and brands are successfully adapting their planning horizons for new circumstances. Some days I feel like in the trade, ‘3 month plans’ are almost replacing ‘3 year plans’ – and not necessarily in a bad way.

Here at HRA Global we’ve had a really busy summer. I’ve been encouraging the team to take their holiday time, but it’s been tough to get these breaks on in whilst delivering on our projects. So, we’ve taken the plunge and hired a couple of new team members, which I am delighted about as they bring unique skills. You’ll meet them as we start to introduce them onto the projects.

Welcoming New Recruit – Poppy Rucki

First up, this month we are super pleased to welcome Poppy Rucki to the team. Poppy has a first in Psychology from Bangor and a Masters in Behaviour Analysis, also a first. She’s grown up in North Devon so she knows the county well and is settling into the team. She’s already started to make us laugh and head off to the gym after hours with Roseanna. You’ll see more and more of Poppy on our Market Research and FMCG Consultancy projects as she slots into Kim’s team and completes her studies for the Market Research Society exams.

There is a short bio in this month’s newsletter by way of introduction and also an article Welcoming Poppy to HRA Global. She has also put together a really interesting piece on Collagen. It’s really having a moment in health and beauty and also in food and drink where it’s increasingly included in bars, drinks, powders etc. Collagen is poised at that tipping point where it’s about to be seen everywhere. Read Poppy’s view on the impact of collagen in the article Cracking The Collagen Market.

We’re Becoming Well Acquainted With The World Of Online Market Research…

Many of you will know Kim Shaddick (nee Collins), quite simply the smartest person I’ve ever worked with. Kim heads up our Research and Consulting area and has an unassuming manner that puts everyone at ease and behind that a razor-sharp analytical mind. As we’ve delivered many online research projects over the summer period, it seemed only natural that we ask Kim in her own words to pull out what clients should know about online market research, when to use it and how to get the best out of it. Watch Kim’s Take on Online Research.

It Can’t All Go Swimmingly

However, some visitors to our office this summer were less than welcome. We experienced a flash flood and our new boardroom conferencing area was suddenly under a couple of inches of water but thankfully we formed a human chain and got all the hardware, furniture and research booths out of the way of the water. We got off lightly as a few streets from us there was video footage of wheelie bins floating off down the street. Our data was always secure but the flood has caused some disruption and thank you for bearing with us in the immediate aftermath.  Our office extension is half way through downstairs and this has reminded me of the need to finish it!

Wrapping Up Series 2 Of The Grocery Insider

Bringing a close to Series 2 of our Grocery Insider Podcast series is Joe Welstead who founded Motion Nutrition. Joe is an ex Pro swimmer who, disappointed with the paucity of supplements on offer in his racing days, set up a brand to do supplements his way after he retired.  We talk about his vision for the brand, the hustling and work he did to get the brand off the ground in the trade and where he might go next. It’s a great listen and he is very honest about his journey to date – Putting the Wheels of Organic Nutrition in Motion is well worth a listen.

And Finally, Now To Sleep

It’s an area we’ve become increasingly interested in as what you eat and drink has a direct read across to sleep which arguably is the biggest determinant to your health. Danni (whom you’ll meet next month) has put together a short piece here on the latest developments in sleep and the implication for FMCG brands. Taking sleep seriously on behalf of your shopper feels like a combination of the right thing to do and commercially smart to be one step ahead of the trends. Get the low down on whether The Consumer Bedtime Occasion is Underserved by FMCG Brands. If you would like to get in touch with our team and discuss how our services can help you succeed, please do contact us at your convenience.

Until next month,

Hamish.

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