Accompanied Shopping Trip At Waitrose English Language Essay

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Paul is in his 60s. He is a property investor. He is on the board of the local housing association. He used to be in the food business. He lives with his wife Wanda in Purbrook. They have two grown up children.

They usually do their main shopping at Waitrose, Waterlooville.

1st Accompanied shopping trip, Waitrose, Waterlooville

Thursday 13 February 2003

They normally use Waitrose green bags to organise the shopping.

They use a hand-held scanner when they are shopping.

Paul mentioned that they usually have disagreements when they are doing the shopping. (I could corroborate this fact in my observations).

'I have a theory that we should plan all the meals for the week, and Wanda says no let's just make it' (Paul). 'I buy what I feel like' (Wanda).

They only write a list when they are having people for dinner, and it's special.

Wanda: 'the things that I normally pick up Paul doesn't'.

During the shopping trip, I observed that they normally went around the supermarket in different ways. When I asked Paul about it, he said: 'Well it is normally much more disrupted. We are on our best [mood]'

The majority of the stuff that they bought was organic. 'Theoretically, there isn't much if you look' (Paul).

For meats they normally go to the butcher in Calclayne north from Waterlooville (once a week). They don't like to buy meat at Waitrose,

Paul liked to buy different sorts of food. According to Wanda he had a tendency to buy even food that they had already in stock at home. The following is an example of this situation: Wanda: 'what? You don't need it you have a new one already in the fridge'. Paul replied: 'No I just finished it'. Wanda: 'No you've got a new one already!' (she replied raising her voice). Paul wanted to buy a tin of chopped pork, and marmalades.

Paul told me as a secret that they loved to buy and freeze anything that is cheap. I observed that Paul tried to pick something up, but he doubted and left it. He said: 'I am not allowed to buy that'. Wanda commented: 'He simply wants to buy because it's cheap and then he doesn't use it. It gets wasted'.

Paul liked to try different breads 'mentally thinking what it would taste like'.

They were buying less than normal because they were going out on Saturday evening. 'It's a thin week this week', Paul said

When I asked about brands:

Paul said: …'I don't mind the brand…on the basis that is organic…makes us feel good. It does certainly good'.

When I asked about a certain brand that he was buying: He answered: 'It's just [psychological advertisement]. Buy that brand rather than that brand because I read a newspaper article about the local owner of that brand'.

They said that they didn't normally buy frozen food.

Paul is not very keen to shop on Friday because there is a market in Waterlooville. 'it's terrible crowded in the car park on Friday. So Wanda is a snob, and she won't go to the market'.

Wanda: what?

Paul: that you won't go to the market because you think it's beneath you.

W: No no at all. Whenever I go my stuff is never a bargain ( ). They don't give you what you see. They hide it behind the stall and take out everything else. I always thought that when there was a market in Portsmouth.

Paul said that they normally spend £100 in a shopping trip. They go shopping once a week.

Paul buys wine in London. 'I've got an arrangement when I am in London. They buy cases and store them for me'.

Paul and Wanda used to do their shopping in Waitrose Petersfield. They think that is more upper class. 'I'm sure that Petersfield stocks fresh lobsters. Here they wouldn't…Here they used to sell sushi, now they don't…' (Paul).

They go to the farmer market in Winchester once a month.

Wanda usually cooks evening dinner but 'Wanda prepares Sunday lunch because mommy told her' (Paul). Wanda argues that is because they go to the church and Paul sings in the choir. 'I am not going to cook the meal at 8 p.m.'

Paul would like to eat more fish but 'the fish department here (Waitrose) is not very special'

Diary (just Paul wrote the diary)

11 April- 20th April 2003

Day 1 Friday

Weekly shopping in Waitrose. Extra purchases: catering for a rotary dance.

I shopped Wanda advised

Milk delivery 3 times a week, also orange juice.

Bought chocolate rare purchase (Black & Green organic).

Spent £100 average shop for 2 people.

I try to choose organic and British (difficult to combine)

Never buy frozen or ready meals.

Wanda eats lots of fruit, I drink lots of fruit juice (laziness!)

Normally shop Thursday evening, but had been away so come on Friday which was more crowded

Always meet people whom we knew (neighbours).

This week didn't go to the butcher


Do nearly all food shopping at Waitrose…familiar with layout

Like the uncluttered aisles and absence of harsh merchandising, and the availability of hand scanners.

Do not like the fish counter but have no alternative.

Visit farmers market 3 times a year.

Buy coffee (and cheese for special occasions) from London

Sometimes buy smoked fish and Kippers from a company in Scotland (by post).

Day 2-5: (there was) no shopping except milk deliveries

Day 6: Thursday 17 April

Went to Waitrose. Also visited the butcher in Cowplain

Weekly shopping but as it was Bank Holiday and son was visiting, bought extra (nearly double our normal weekly bill (surprising how mothers look after their children).

Bought for Easter weekend special things ripe

Dislike shopping on days prior to Bank holidays there are too many shoppers.

Day 8-10 (No shopping)

Final reflection: 'I knew that we were organised, now I am certain!…we bought extra for the Rotary dance! Campaign to eradicate polio'

Normally we shop once, very occasionally top up on Wednesday.


1.- You used to be in the food business. When was that? Now you are a property investor.

2. How long have you been living in Purbrook? How many children?

3. When have you started buying in Waitrose Waterlooville. And before was in Petersfield? Compare with the past

You are not very happy with this but you don't go to Petersfield. Is it too far?

4. You normally go in different ways. Wanda said. The things that I normally pick up, Paul doesn't.

5. Why do you buy organic? Does the brand matter? Explain: 'I don't mind the brand on the basis that is organic', Paul said. He also said 'it's just psychological advertisement, I read an article about the local owner of that brand'

6. In the diary you mentioned I tried to choose organic and British (difficult to combine).

7. Why do you prefer to go to the butcher for meat? How long is it from your house. Do you have any other and you prefer to travel more?

8. Do you check what is left in your cupboards and fridge before you come here to buy?

9. Why do you love to buy and freeze anything that is cheap? Do you want to save some money? You like to buy cheap but Wanda says that then it's wasted

10. Why don't you like to buy frozen or ready, have you tried?

11. Shop on Thursday evenings what time. Don't like Fridays because of parking space-there is a market in Waterlooville.

12. What do you like about Waitrose?

13. Visit farmers 3 times a year, what kind of products you buy?

14. Sometimes buy fish and kippers from a company in Scotland

15 You said: 'I knew we were organised, now I am certain!'. Explain

Preliminary conclusion:

Paul and Wanda like to shop only in Waitrose. They are very well-off. They prefer to buy Organic and British food. Wanda's father was a farmer, and Paul used to be in the food business.