Customer satisfaction of organic foods of Waitrose

3299 words (13 pages) Essay

1st Jan 1970 Marketing Reference this

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This report will give you a brief description on what extent are the consumers satisfied with the Organic foods of Waitrose.It will then talk about the main reasons why consumers are purchasing Organic foods in the UK and later take you through the Waitrose contribution towards Organic foods.

1.1 Organic food

Organic food is healthy food which is made from fertile soil and mixture of crops. Organic foods are vegetables and fruits, dairy products, poultry and meat, fish and seafood, eggs, cereal products, prepared foods and groceries, baby and toddler foods and infant formula. (Mintel, Organic Food-UK, October 2010). Animals used for producing Organic food are reared without the routine use of drugs, wormers and antibiotics. Parasite problems are managed through defensive methods, like moving the animals to fresh meadow on regular basis. Organic foods are luxurious and expensive.

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The Organic production standards were introduced in the early 1970s. The term organic became strictly distinct in European law in 1993, with the introduction of EC Council Regulation 2092/91, which ensured the strict regulation of organic food production. (Mintel, Organic Food-UK, October 2010)

In 2008 and 2009, Organic foods value sales decreased by 12.4% to reach 1.4 billion. In 2010, market decreased by a further 4.2% in 2010. Consumers are facing increased financial pressures which led them to become more frugal when shopping. Organic food has been positioned as working in harmony with the environment, however in the last year. (Mintel, Organic Food-UK, October 2010)

Despite the negative effect Organic food has had on sales and the pressures of the economic downturn consumers maintain the same level of purchase. The main reason for their purchase is the environmental benefits and farming. Even though the price issue still remains as the main reason for consumers not to buy organic foods as they feel that its not worth to spend extra cost. (Mintel, Organic Food-UK, October 2010)

1.2 Waitrose

Waitrose is a supermarket in the United Kingdom and is the food portion of the British retailer and worker co-operative the John Lewis Partnership. It has 228 branches across the United Kingdom. The company was founded in 1904 by Wallace Waite, Arthur Rose and David Taylor.

The company has a market share of a 4.3%, therefore being the 6th largest grocery retailer in the UK. It focuses on food and non-food items and it targets the higher end of the market. Waitrose offers a large variety of services and goods a alongside with this main grocery business. The Company offers foodservice offer in-store, petrol stations, Boots and John Lewis.

Waitrose operates in a tertiary sector. The company is primarily presenting supermarkets. The main competitors of the Waitrose are Tesco, Sainsbury, Morrisons, M&S, and Asda. Waitrose differentiates itself from its competitors by offering high quality food and placing emphasis on its standard of customer service. In the UK Grocery sales are dominated by Tesco, Asda, Sainsbury’s and Morrisons and main leader out of these supermarkets is Tesco. (Food Retailing, UK, November 2009, Mintel)

Waitrose has been selling Organic products since 15 years and stocks over 1600 organic products and is one of the largest and broadest in the UK supermarkets. The company has its own Organic foods range known as the Duchy Originals. The Duchy Originals Company was originally set up by Charles, Prince of Wales, in 1990. (www.duchyoriginals.com)

The Organic products that Waitrose produces are meat and dairy, fruits and vegetables, breads, baking and grocery.”The aim of The Waitrose Organic Assistance Scheme is to link customer demand with producer supply and to support suppliers fully, so that those who wish can plan confidently for organic conversion.” (www.waitrose.com)

1.3 Rationale

The reason for choosing this as my dissertation topic is because a month ago I read a report on Organic foods. The article spoke about consumers perception on Organic foods. It said that Eight million consumers consider organic to be an important issue when deciding what food and drink to buy. This is especially the case for 16-34-year-olds, and offers potential for organic food producers as their numbers are forecast to grow by 4% in the next five years.(Mintel, Organic Food-UK, October 2010)

Currently, in the UK people are very careful about what they eat and especially when it comes to their children they are very cautious about it. Mostly the consumers want to buy products based on low pesticides, personal health advantages and the environment. Therefore Organic foods are centered on making a healthy food choice and include good taste, health benefits, and a healthier environment.

The market for organic produce has become the latest victim of the recession. The sales have plummeted 13 percent in 2009 but report predicts that the demand will bounce back strongly this year.(Rachel Fielding, Business Green, 12 Apr 2010)

2.0Project Aims and Objectives

To understand the knowledge and perception of consumers regarding Organic foods

Investigate what factors influence consumers to purchase Organic foods of Waitrose

Examine whether consumers prefer organic foods of Waitrose

The impact of economic downturn had on sales of Organic food

3.0Review of existing work/Literature

The literature review chapter will cover the basic topics of branding and brand equity. It will talk about how brands have an effect of consumer preference and it will explain buyers decision making process. Finally it will talk about how consumers look at Organic foods as a brand.

3.1Branding

Branding remains an indefinable yet complex topic however it is a very important aspect of modern culture. Over the years critics have defined brands in several perspectives, some more consumer orientated whereas others treated more in product attributed manner.

Branding is the process by which companies distinguish their products offerings from the competition. By developing a distinctive name, packing and design, a brand is created Branding permits customers to develop associations with the brand and eases the purchase decision. (Jobber, 2007, Pg-327).

Perhaps Branding is the most distinctive skill of professional marketers is their ability to crate, maintain, protect, and enhance brands of their products and services. Branding is the process of creating a distinctive identify for a product which differentiates it from its competitors (Palmer, 212) Branding adds value to the product. (Kotler & Armstrong, 2004, Pg-285)

Therefore Ambler (1992) defines a brand as the promise of the bundles of attributes that someone buys and provide satisfaction…The attributes that make up a brand may be real or illusory, rational or emotional, tangible or invisible (Wood, 2000, Pg-662) this definition is based more on consumers perception.

The Organic foods of Waitrose known as the Dutchy Originals are a brand itself. It is a separate brand compared to the other products of Waitrose. Dutchy Originals is a brand of organic food sold mainly in Waitrose stores in the United Kingdom. The Duchy Originals Company was originally set up by Charles, Prince of Wales. (Business Source Premier/ Data monitor, Dutchy Originals, February 2009)

3.2 Brand Equity

Strong brand rich in a property is called Brand equity. Brand equity is the measure of the strength of a brand in the marketplace by adding tangible value to company through the resulting sales and profits. (Jobber, 2007, Pg-331)

Therefore consumer based and retailers recognition of brand equity is important, as it is essential to understand consumer equity of Organic foods of Waitrose. Brand Equity will help to find out whether the consumers are loyal to the Organic foods of Waitrose. However brand association; image, loyalty and awareness are also dimensions of brand equity which helps with the understanding of Organic foods in the mind of consumers and prospects. According to Palmer the capitalized value and price premiums that customers are prepared to pay for a brand, compared with a similar generic product is Brand equity. (Palmer, 2004, Pg-234)

Brand equity is the positive degree of difference effect that knowing the brand name has on customer response to the product or service. (Kotler &Armstrong, 2004, Pg-291) A measure of a brands equity is the extent to which customers are willing to pay more for the brand

Lastly brands should be considered a valuable intangible asset of the company and in reflection to which a brand should be strong and consistent to maintain positive equity which alternatively leads products to embed themselves deeply in the hearts and minds of the consumers. (Clifton & Simmons, 2004. Pg-18)

3.3 Brand Image

Brand Image is the consumers mental picture of offering and includes symbolic meanings consumers associate with a specific product or service. Brand image is defined as the the reasoned or emotional perceptions consumers attach to specific brands.(Glynn & Woodside, 2009, Pg-276)

Brand image is the generalized perception of brand in peoples mind. (Franzen G & Moriarty S, 2008,Pg-19) It is based on the proposition that consumers buy not only a product, but also the image associations of the product, such as power, wealth, sophistication, and most importantly identification and association with other users of the brand.

By finding out the Brand image it will be easier to know how the consumers feel about Organic foods. Therefore it will help Waitrose know where the brand stands and how to make it better. a positive brand image is created by marketing programs that link strong, favorable and unique associations to the brand in memory. (Woodside, Megehee & Ogle, 2009, Pg-40)

3.4 Buyers Decision Making Process

The basic marketing strategies adopted by firms underlies in the basic understanding of buyer behaviour for the target market, in relation to which it is very important for the firms to know the consumers decision making process ,as consumers go through endless amount of decisions every day. (Palmer, 2004, Pg-107)

To understand what goes through the mind of a prospect or consumer, what mental and cognitive responses a consumer has and the basic needs and wants of consumer which play an essential role for marketing operations and is important for marketers understand how consumers respond.

Buyer decision process is the decision making processes undertaken by consumers in regards to a potential market transaction before, during, and after the purchase of a product or service. The buyer decision process consists of 5 stages: need recognition, information search, and evaluation of alternatives, purchase decision and post purchase decision. Consumers pass through all the five stages with every purchase. (Armstrong & Kotler, 2004, Pg-199).

Many factors can influence the individual throughout this process. But by understanding consumer behavior, one can help a consumer move through this process smoothly. A marketer can influence the entire process and not just the purchasing decision.

The 5 stages of Buyers Decision Making Process

(http://tutor2u.net/business/marketing/buying_decision_process.asp)

4.0 Research Methodology

To begin with I will outline the research approach consisting details of research strategy and time horizons, by outlining the secondary and primary tools being used in this research. Later I will talk about the sampling methods, size. Lastly conclude with limitations, and methods of resolution.

4.1Research Approach

Research Approach will involve the conceptual framework that has to be adopted and selection of research questions, and the selection of appropriate research method such as, secondary research and primary research.

4.2Data collection method

The Two types of data collection methods:

1. Secondary Data

2. Primary Data

Secondary data is data that has already been gathered and might be relevant to the problem at hand, including sources such as books, journals, news articles and statistics where as Primary data is new data that is gathered to help solve the problem under investigation, used for research purpose, including several methods such as surveys, focus groups and interviews (McDaniel & Gates, 2007, Pg-92).

4.3 Secondary Data tools and justification

Secondary data consist of information that has already been gathered. (McDaniel & Gates, 2007, Pg-92). The kind of secondary data that I have used in my Literature review is from academic text books and scholarly journals and articles via the Brunel database. By using these methods of qualitative data collection I will analyse, compare and construct branding, equity, buyer decision making process etc in my literature review.

4.4 Primary Data tools and justification

4.4.1 Questionnaires

Questionnaires are general term including all data collection techniques in which each person is asked to respond to the same set of questions in a predetermined order (deVaus, 2002). (Saunders, Lewis, & Thornhill, 2003, Pg-188).In this thesis questionnaires are the main method of data collection as it allows gathering of data regarding consumer attitude and product usage of Organic foods in Waitrose. It is relevant to the thesis aims and objectives as it will give more information on consumer behaviour, awareness and attitude.

4.4.2 Focus groups

A focus group typically brings together eight to ten qualified people for face-to-face discussion of a particular topic and is qualitative research, which means that you do not obtain results with percentages, statistical testing, or tables.(Edmunds, 2000, Pg-1&2)The goal of focus group research is to learn and understand what people have to say and why… (McDaniel & Gates, 2007, Pg-130)

The focus groups are held at one of the stores of Waitrose which will involve mostly housewives and Waitrose employees. The focus group opportunities will help understand perception and brand preference of Organic foods.

4.4.3 Observation

Observation Research can be defined as the systematic process of recording patterns of occurrences or behaviours without normally questioning or communicating with the people involved. (McDaniel & Gates, 2007, Pg-206) Observation will allow gathering information in relation to attitude towards in-store communication which mostly occurs at the point of purchase as a spontaneous reaction.

4.5 Industrial or commercial research contacts

I will be going to Waitrose in Finchley Road, Hampstead, (199 Finchley Road, Hampstead, London, NW3 6NN). I will book an appointment with the Manager of the branch in Finchley road of Waitrose and get all the primary data I need for my project.

4.6 Ethical Issues:

Throughout the primary research I will be using the ethical approach. Since permission will be required from potential respondents for their participation. All respondents and companys information will be kept confidential and will not be passed onto third parties.

4.7 Limitations of the chosen research Methods:

No matter what research adopts there are always drawbacks to it.

Validity: The first and foremost constraint is that validity of findings may be restricted because of the inexperienced researcher as they may not have the skills or insight in collecting valuable primary research and conducting in depth interviews.

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Time Limit and sample Size: The major critics of the marketing research are the sample size. The groups selected for interview will be limited, because of which mass majoritys opinion might not be collected, and data recorded will be minor which will also make the results less accurate.

Unstructured Nature of group interview: The unstructured nature of the interview and the clinical nature of the analysis might increase the difficulty and complexity.

Response errors: limitation is to some degree uncontrollable as it can be difficult to identify incorrect or false responses so the limitations are minimised through effective questionnaire design and easy to understand consumer language.

5.0 Timetable/Project Plan

Gantt chart

//// work completed

6.0Reference

Armstrong, G., Kotler, P., (2004), Principles of Marketing, 10th edition

Clifton, R., & Simmons, J., (2004) Brands and Branding

Data Monitor, (2009), Business Source Premier-Ebscohost, Market Watch: Global Round-up

[Online] Available at:

[Accessed Date: 22 October 2010]

Data Monitor, (2010), Mintel/Oxgen, Organic Food-UK-2010

[Online] Available at:

[Accessed Date: 13 October 2010]

Edmunds, H., (2000) The Focus group research handbook

Fielding, R., (2010), Business green, Digital Publisher, Organic market growth stall as recession hits

[Online] Available at:

[Accessed Date: 24 October 2010]

Franzen, G., & Moriarty,S., (2008), The Science and Art of Branding

Glynn, M., S., &. Woodside A., G., (2009), Advances in Business Marketing and Purchasing Volume 15, 1st edition

Jobber, D., (2007), Principles and Practice of Marketing, 5th edition

McDaniel, C., & Gates, R., (2007), Marketing Research, 7th edition

Organic foods for everyone, (2010), Benefits of Organic foods to your health: Part 3

[Online] Available at:

[Accessed Date: 26 October 2010]

Palmer, A., (2004), Introduction to Marketing: Theory and Pratice

Prnewswire, United Business Media, (2010) Waitrose leader in Organic Support

[Online] Available at:

[Accessed Date: 22 October 2010]

Saunders, M., Lewis, P., & Thornhill, A., (2003), Research Methods for Business Students, third edition

Uloth R., (2008), Country life, Interview: Waitrose MD Mark Price

[Online] Available at: [Accessed Date: 16 October 2010]

Waitrose, (2010), Organic Producers

[Online] Available at:

[Accessed Date: 16 October 2010]

Waitrose, (2010), Organic range

[Online] Available at:

[Accessed Date: 16 October 2010]

Wood, L., (2000), Brands and brand equity: definition and management. Management Decision

Woodside, A., G., & Megehee, C., M., Ogle, A., (2009), Perspectives on cross-cultural, ethnographic, brand image, storytelling, unconscious needs, and hospitality guest research, 1st edition

This report will give you a brief description on what extent are the consumers satisfied with the Organic foods of Waitrose.It will then talk about the main reasons why consumers are purchasing Organic foods in the UK and later take you through the Waitrose contribution towards Organic foods.

1.1 Organic food

Organic food is healthy food which is made from fertile soil and mixture of crops. Organic foods are vegetables and fruits, dairy products, poultry and meat, fish and seafood, eggs, cereal products, prepared foods and groceries, baby and toddler foods and infant formula. (Mintel, Organic Food-UK, October 2010). Animals used for producing Organic food are reared without the routine use of drugs, wormers and antibiotics. Parasite problems are managed through defensive methods, like moving the animals to fresh meadow on regular basis. Organic foods are luxurious and expensive.

The Organic production standards were introduced in the early 1970s. The term organic became strictly distinct in European law in 1993, with the introduction of EC Council Regulation 2092/91, which ensured the strict regulation of organic food production. (Mintel, Organic Food-UK, October 2010)

In 2008 and 2009, Organic foods value sales decreased by 12.4% to reach 1.4 billion. In 2010, market decreased by a further 4.2% in 2010. Consumers are facing increased financial pressures which led them to become more frugal when shopping. Organic food has been positioned as working in harmony with the environment, however in the last year. (Mintel, Organic Food-UK, October 2010)

Despite the negative effect Organic food has had on sales and the pressures of the economic downturn consumers maintain the same level of purchase. The main reason for their purchase is the environmental benefits and farming. Even though the price issue still remains as the main reason for consumers not to buy organic foods as they feel that its not worth to spend extra cost. (Mintel, Organic Food-UK, October 2010)

1.2 Waitrose

Waitrose is a supermarket in the United Kingdom and is the food portion of the British retailer and worker co-operative the John Lewis Partnership. It has 228 branches across the United Kingdom. The company was founded in 1904 by Wallace Waite, Arthur Rose and David Taylor.

The company has a market share of a 4.3%, therefore being the 6th largest grocery retailer in the UK. It focuses on food and non-food items and it targets the higher end of the market. Waitrose offers a large variety of services and goods a alongside with this main grocery business. The Company offers foodservice offer in-store, petrol stations, Boots and John Lewis.

Waitrose operates in a tertiary sector. The company is primarily presenting supermarkets. The main competitors of the Waitrose are Tesco, Sainsbury, Morrisons, M&S, and Asda. Waitrose differentiates itself from its competitors by offering high quality food and placing emphasis on its standard of customer service. In the UK Grocery sales are dominated by Tesco, Asda, Sainsbury’s and Morrisons and main leader out of these supermarkets is Tesco. (Food Retailing, UK, November 2009, Mintel)

Waitrose has been selling Organic products since 15 years and stocks over 1600 organic products and is one of the largest and broadest in the UK supermarkets. The company has its own Organic foods range known as the Duchy Originals. The Duchy Originals Company was originally set up by Charles, Prince of Wales, in 1990. (www.duchyoriginals.com)

The Organic products that Waitrose produces are meat and dairy, fruits and vegetables, breads, baking and grocery.”The aim of The Waitrose Organic Assistance Scheme is to link customer demand with producer supply and to support suppliers fully, so that those who wish can plan confidently for organic conversion.” (www.waitrose.com)

1.3 Rationale

The reason for choosing this as my dissertation topic is because a month ago I read a report on Organic foods. The article spoke about consumers perception on Organic foods. It said that Eight million consumers consider organic to be an important issue when deciding what food and drink to buy. This is especially the case for 16-34-year-olds, and offers potential for organic food producers as their numbers are forecast to grow by 4% in the next five years.(Mintel, Organic Food-UK, October 2010)

Currently, in the UK people are very careful about what they eat and especially when it comes to their children they are very cautious about it. Mostly the consumers want to buy products based on low pesticides, personal health advantages and the environment. Therefore Organic foods are centered on making a healthy food choice and include good taste, health benefits, and a healthier environment.

The market for organic produce has become the latest victim of the recession. The sales have plummeted 13 percent in 2009 but report predicts that the demand will bounce back strongly this year.(Rachel Fielding, Business Green, 12 Apr 2010)

2.0Project Aims and Objectives

To understand the knowledge and perception of consumers regarding Organic foods

Investigate what factors influence consumers to purchase Organic foods of Waitrose

Examine whether consumers prefer organic foods of Waitrose

The impact of economic downturn had on sales of Organic food

3.0Review of existing work/Literature

The literature review chapter will cover the basic topics of branding and brand equity. It will talk about how brands have an effect of consumer preference and it will explain buyers decision making process. Finally it will talk about how consumers look at Organic foods as a brand.

3.1Branding

Branding remains an indefinable yet complex topic however it is a very important aspect of modern culture. Over the years critics have defined brands in several perspectives, some more consumer orientated whereas others treated more in product attributed manner.

Branding is the process by which companies distinguish their products offerings from the competition. By developing a distinctive name, packing and design, a brand is created Branding permits customers to develop associations with the brand and eases the purchase decision. (Jobber, 2007, Pg-327).

Perhaps Branding is the most distinctive skill of professional marketers is their ability to crate, maintain, protect, and enhance brands of their products and services. Branding is the process of creating a distinctive identify for a product which differentiates it from its competitors (Palmer, 212) Branding adds value to the product. (Kotler & Armstrong, 2004, Pg-285)

Therefore Ambler (1992) defines a brand as the promise of the bundles of attributes that someone buys and provide satisfaction…The attributes that make up a brand may be real or illusory, rational or emotional, tangible or invisible (Wood, 2000, Pg-662) this definition is based more on consumers perception.

The Organic foods of Waitrose known as the Dutchy Originals are a brand itself. It is a separate brand compared to the other products of Waitrose. Dutchy Originals is a brand of organic food sold mainly in Waitrose stores in the United Kingdom. The Duchy Originals Company was originally set up by Charles, Prince of Wales. (Business Source Premier/ Data monitor, Dutchy Originals, February 2009)

3.2 Brand Equity

Strong brand rich in a property is called Brand equity. Brand equity is the measure of the strength of a brand in the marketplace by adding tangible value to company through the resulting sales and profits. (Jobber, 2007, Pg-331)

Therefore consumer based and retailers recognition of brand equity is important, as it is essential to understand consumer equity of Organic foods of Waitrose. Brand Equity will help to find out whether the consumers are loyal to the Organic foods of Waitrose. However brand association; image, loyalty and awareness are also dimensions of brand equity which helps with the understanding of Organic foods in the mind of consumers and prospects. According to Palmer the capitalized value and price premiums that customers are prepared to pay for a brand, compared with a similar generic product is Brand equity. (Palmer, 2004, Pg-234)

Brand equity is the positive degree of difference effect that knowing the brand name has on customer response to the product or service. (Kotler &Armstrong, 2004, Pg-291) A measure of a brands equity is the extent to which customers are willing to pay more for the brand

Lastly brands should be considered a valuable intangible asset of the company and in reflection to which a brand should be strong and consistent to maintain positive equity which alternatively leads products to embed themselves deeply in the hearts and minds of the consumers. (Clifton & Simmons, 2004. Pg-18)

3.3 Brand Image

Brand Image is the consumers mental picture of offering and includes symbolic meanings consumers associate with a specific product or service. Brand image is defined as the the reasoned or emotional perceptions consumers attach to specific brands.(Glynn & Woodside, 2009, Pg-276)

Brand image is the generalized perception of brand in peoples mind. (Franzen G & Moriarty S, 2008,Pg-19) It is based on the proposition that consumers buy not only a product, but also the image associations of the product, such as power, wealth, sophistication, and most importantly identification and association with other users of the brand.

By finding out the Brand image it will be easier to know how the consumers feel about Organic foods. Therefore it will help Waitrose know where the brand stands and how to make it better. a positive brand image is created by marketing programs that link strong, favorable and unique associations to the brand in memory. (Woodside, Megehee & Ogle, 2009, Pg-40)

3.4 Buyers Decision Making Process

The basic marketing strategies adopted by firms underlies in the basic understanding of buyer behaviour for the target market, in relation to which it is very important for the firms to know the consumers decision making process ,as consumers go through endless amount of decisions every day. (Palmer, 2004, Pg-107)

To understand what goes through the mind of a prospect or consumer, what mental and cognitive responses a consumer has and the basic needs and wants of consumer which play an essential role for marketing operations and is important for marketers understand how consumers respond.

Buyer decision process is the decision making processes undertaken by consumers in regards to a potential market transaction before, during, and after the purchase of a product or service. The buyer decision process consists of 5 stages: need recognition, information search, and evaluation of alternatives, purchase decision and post purchase decision. Consumers pass through all the five stages with every purchase. (Armstrong & Kotler, 2004, Pg-199).

Many factors can influence the individual throughout this process. But by understanding consumer behavior, one can help a consumer move through this process smoothly. A marketer can influence the entire process and not just the purchasing decision.

The 5 stages of Buyers Decision Making Process

(http://tutor2u.net/business/marketing/buying_decision_process.asp)

4.0 Research Methodology

To begin with I will outline the research approach consisting details of research strategy and time horizons, by outlining the secondary and primary tools being used in this research. Later I will talk about the sampling methods, size. Lastly conclude with limitations, and methods of resolution.

4.1Research Approach

Research Approach will involve the conceptual framework that has to be adopted and selection of research questions, and the selection of appropriate research method such as, secondary research and primary research.

4.2Data collection method

The Two types of data collection methods:

1. Secondary Data

2. Primary Data

Secondary data is data that has already been gathered and might be relevant to the problem at hand, including sources such as books, journals, news articles and statistics where as Primary data is new data that is gathered to help solve the problem under investigation, used for research purpose, including several methods such as surveys, focus groups and interviews (McDaniel & Gates, 2007, Pg-92).

4.3 Secondary Data tools and justification

Secondary data consist of information that has already been gathered. (McDaniel & Gates, 2007, Pg-92). The kind of secondary data that I have used in my Literature review is from academic text books and scholarly journals and articles via the Brunel database. By using these methods of qualitative data collection I will analyse, compare and construct branding, equity, buyer decision making process etc in my literature review.

4.4 Primary Data tools and justification

4.4.1 Questionnaires

Questionnaires are general term including all data collection techniques in which each person is asked to respond to the same set of questions in a predetermined order (deVaus, 2002). (Saunders, Lewis, & Thornhill, 2003, Pg-188).In this thesis questionnaires are the main method of data collection as it allows gathering of data regarding consumer attitude and product usage of Organic foods in Waitrose. It is relevant to the thesis aims and objectives as it will give more information on consumer behaviour, awareness and attitude.

4.4.2 Focus groups

A focus group typically brings together eight to ten qualified people for face-to-face discussion of a particular topic and is qualitative research, which means that you do not obtain results with percentages, statistical testing, or tables.(Edmunds, 2000, Pg-1&2)The goal of focus group research is to learn and understand what people have to say and why… (McDaniel & Gates, 2007, Pg-130)

The focus groups are held at one of the stores of Waitrose which will involve mostly housewives and Waitrose employees. The focus group opportunities will help understand perception and brand preference of Organic foods.

4.4.3 Observation

Observation Research can be defined as the systematic process of recording patterns of occurrences or behaviours without normally questioning or communicating with the people involved. (McDaniel & Gates, 2007, Pg-206) Observation will allow gathering information in relation to attitude towards in-store communication which mostly occurs at the point of purchase as a spontaneous reaction.

4.5 Industrial or commercial research contacts

I will be going to Waitrose in Finchley Road, Hampstead, (199 Finchley Road, Hampstead, London, NW3 6NN). I will book an appointment with the Manager of the branch in Finchley road of Waitrose and get all the primary data I need for my project.

4.6 Ethical Issues:

Throughout the primary research I will be using the ethical approach. Since permission will be required from potential respondents for their participation. All respondents and companys information will be kept confidential and will not be passed onto third parties.

4.7 Limitations of the chosen research Methods:

No matter what research adopts there are always drawbacks to it.

Validity: The first and foremost constraint is that validity of findings may be restricted because of the inexperienced researcher as they may not have the skills or insight in collecting valuable primary research and conducting in depth interviews.

Time Limit and sample Size: The major critics of the marketing research are the sample size. The groups selected for interview will be limited, because of which mass majoritys opinion might not be collected, and data recorded will be minor which will also make the results less accurate.

Unstructured Nature of group interview: The unstructured nature of the interview and the clinical nature of the analysis might increase the difficulty and complexity.

Response errors: limitation is to some degree uncontrollable as it can be difficult to identify incorrect or false responses so the limitations are minimised through effective questionnaire design and easy to understand consumer language.

5.0 Timetable/Project Plan

Gantt chart

//// work completed

6.0Reference

Armstrong, G., Kotler, P., (2004), Principles of Marketing, 10th edition

Clifton, R., & Simmons, J., (2004) Brands and Branding

Data Monitor, (2009), Business Source Premier-Ebscohost, Market Watch: Global Round-up

[Online] Available at:

[Accessed Date: 22 October 2010]

Data Monitor, (2010), Mintel/Oxgen, Organic Food-UK-2010

[Online] Available at:

[Accessed Date: 13 October 2010]

Edmunds, H., (2000) The Focus group research handbook

Fielding, R., (2010), Business green, Digital Publisher, Organic market growth stall as recession hits

[Online] Available at:

[Accessed Date: 24 October 2010]

Franzen, G., & Moriarty,S., (2008), The Science and Art of Branding

Glynn, M., S., &. Woodside A., G., (2009), Advances in Business Marketing and Purchasing Volume 15, 1st edition

Jobber, D., (2007), Principles and Practice of Marketing, 5th edition

McDaniel, C., & Gates, R., (2007), Marketing Research, 7th edition

Organic foods for everyone, (2010), Benefits of Organic foods to your health: Part 3

[Online] Available at:

[Accessed Date: 26 October 2010]

Palmer, A., (2004), Introduction to Marketing: Theory and Pratice

Prnewswire, United Business Media, (2010) Waitrose leader in Organic Support

[Online] Available at:

[Accessed Date: 22 October 2010]

Saunders, M., Lewis, P., & Thornhill, A., (2003), Research Methods for Business Students, third edition

Uloth R., (2008), Country life, Interview: Waitrose MD Mark Price

[Online] Available at:

[Accessed Date: 16 October 2010]

Waitrose, (2010), Organic Producers

[Online] Available at:

[Accessed Date: 16 October 2010]

Waitrose, (2010), Organic range

[Online] Available at:

[Accessed Date: 16 October 2010]

Wood, L., (2000), Brands and brand equity: definition and management. Management Decision

Woodside, A., G., & Megehee, C., M., Ogle, A., (2009), Perspectives on cross-cultural, ethnographic, brand image, storytelling, unconscious needs, and hospitality guest research, 1st edition

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