Unpacking the barriers to healthy snacking

We identified, mapped and explored the forces that prevent shoppers from choosing healthy snack foods

The challenge

Eating healthily can be a challenge – snacking healthily even more so. dunnhumby hypothesised that numerous forces act as barriers to choosing healthier snacks, and that these barriers vary by shoppers’ wider health behaviours. They needed to identify these barriers with certainty, and explore their influences, in order to overcome them in-store.

Our solution

We designed a programme of focus groups to identify and unpack the barriers to healthy snacking choices, starting with an exploratory approach and moving on to interrogate and map the hypothesised barriers alongside them. By conducting discussions with groups of consumers who belonged to different health segments, we were able to contrast the strength and impact of the different barriers across the whole shopper landscape. Adding in-store intercepts to the design allowed us to capture uncontaminated feedback and to also observe shoppers at the fixture. We filmed vox pop interviews to really bring to life the different shopper segments and their views.

The outcome

We were able to verify some of the client’s posited barriers to healthy snacking, disprove others, and even identify some new ones. We explored all of the barriers and their implications in depth, explaining what each barrier really means in practice; how it fits in relative to other barriers; how that barrier varies in ins effect on different segments and snack products, and finally, how that barrier can be overcome.

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