Finding Value In In-house Research

In-house research

How truly agile in-house research from Yabble informed Foodstuffs’ crisis response to Lockdown and beyond.


At 11.59pm on March 25 New Zealand moved into a nationwide Level 4 Lockdown. This set off a chain of events that marketers (and the country) had never witnessed before.

New Zealand wide panic buying had already set in at supermarkets and the Foodstuffs executive team needed to be able to anticipate and respond quickly to customer needs and concerns as they emerged. They selected Yabble to provide them with rapid customer insights to support informed and a swift decision making in response to the evolving crisis.

Yabble is self-service software that allow users to design and rapidly implement a range of feedback surveys for agile insights.  Already a customer of Yabble, Foodstuffs was one of the early brands to sign up to the platform.

“When Covid-19 hit, we were already using Yabble in house across a range of services. Panic buying was an early concern and using Yabble’s software we were able to quickly understand what percentage of our customers were stocking up early, so we could forward plan. We were able to keep shelves stocked as well as specials and deals in place,” says Dominic Quin, Foodstuffs Group General Manager

Foodstuffs also wanted to understand the concerns of their shoppers – what hygiene practices shoppers wanted to see in store, what packaging requirements were expected, how vulnerable New Zealanders were managing and where extra effort was needed to ensure all New Zealanders had access to food & grocery essentials.

Beginning in week one of Lockdown and running for 20 weeks, Yabble delivered weekly insights from 1,000 different New Zealanders on a nationally representative level to Foodstuffs. These insights contributed towards enabling them to proactively plan their Covid-19 response anticipating changed customers’ needs, attitudes and behaviours as news around the pandemic broke and lockdown levels changed.  Understanding those needs, and Foodstuffs’ own need to check and adjust their approach at pace, meant Yabble became an important tool for informing many of their decisions and actions.

The Yabble platform has direct access to over 300,000 New Zealanders (and growing) who share their feedback, opinions and ideas in return for rewards from the range of 20+ top NZ brands who are already using their services.

This agile approach, enabled Foodstuffs to better understand the wide-ranging ramifications of an NZ-wide lockdown for shoppers and the important part they had to play in the community. The insights delivered via the Yabble platform helped Foodstuffs develop customer focused actions such as the launch of New World’s Essential Boxes, providing an express shopping option to get access to grocery essentials during alert level restrictions.

Kathryn Topp Founder of Yabble says that Foodstuffs have been with her company from the start of its journey to provide marketers with agile in-house research. “It was really rewarding to partner with them, providing valuable insights that supported their decision making as they planned and responded to the evolving crisis across New Zealand.  Our team was able to turn around results within 72 hours and the Foodstuffs team acted swiftly on many of the insights we provided.”

Post-Lockdown, Foodstuffs is continuing to use Yabble to understand longer lasting and permanent changes to customer behaviour as a result of the pandemic – ranging from the increase in online shopping to favouring locally made products.   

“To be able to give back to Kiwis and making sure our most vulnerable had access to their grocery essentials was a huge privilege for all the team at Foodstuffs. By partnering with Yabble we were able to read and anticipate customer concerns and shopping behaviours and provide actionable insights for all our store owners across New Zealand, so they in turn could support their communities in the best way possible,” adds Quin.


Find out more about the fast, affordable Yabble research tools at www.yabblezone.net.

NZ Marketing Team

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