How a focus on consumer behaviour increased demand for Irish white fish

Consumer insights fueled a nudge campaign that helped drive sales of Irish haddock, hake and whiting.

Bord Bia, the semi state-owned agency responsible for the promotion of Irish food, drink and horticulture, used the discipline of behavioural economics to nudge shoppers into buying more haddock.

The agency initiated a three-year focus on the seafood sector, looking particularly at increasing sales of Irish white fish such as haddock, hake and whiting, as supply was far outweighing consumer demand.

Red C Research carried out primary desk research and in-depth shopper interviews at retail outlets, as well as a large-scale online survey among those who rejected Irish white fish products.

Insights from this process were used to develop a ‘Nudge Territory Framework’ that would encourage people to try the fish, communicate health and nutritional benefits, create a sense of urgency around Irish white fish, and position the products as an indulgent link to ‘brand Ireland’.

The project was then taken in-store with execution by V360 Shopper Marketing, which sought to leverage the nudge territories at key touch points during shopper journeys. Innovative analytical techniques, including a missed opportunity monitor, shopper segmentation and eye-tracking, were employed to measure effectiveness.

Sales of Irish white fish increased significantly during the shopper nudge campaign, with control stores used to see the impact in test stores more clearly.

The project also identified key barriers to purchase, such as cooking concerns and format frustrations.

Perhaps more importantly in the long term, Bord Bia has established a turnkey nudge-based research and execution product that can be applied to retail categories in other markets, both at home and abroad.

All this contributed to Bord Bia winning the 2020 Marketing Week Masters award for consumer goods.



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  1. Greg Smith 19 Jan 2021

    What does ‘increased significantly’ mean in real terms, when referring to sales?

    And were these increase sales maintained after the campaign period concluded?

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