Overheard in Waitrose: a blog by Chrissie Wells and Kate Downer

Who was it that said an army marches on its stomach? It’s a saying that’s been attributed to no fewer than four figures from history* and that can be applied to society far more expansively than one little maxim suggests. We can learn a huge amount about any society from what and how they choose to eat and drink. And the Waitrose Food and Drink report 2017, covered in both Retail Week and the Guardian this week, delivers some fascinating insights into the UK consumer army. 

Auto-enrolment: the journey has just begun

Almost no government research was published over the election period and summer recess, but now the logjam has finally been broken with a flurry of reports.

As City AM reported today, our latest research for DWP has shown that small and micro-employers are really embracing auto-enrolment.

We explored the experiences and views of 70 small and micro employers and their workers. And we also look at how employees might react to the government’s planned increases to the minimum contribution levels.

Read the full report here:


Work experience at Breaking Blue

To say “I have had work experience at Breaking Blue” doesn’t really do justice to what the company can do for you during your work experience week(s) and what you can do for them. To me, before Breaking Blue, work experience was a time to sit in a job, be surrounded by every-day chores and tasks that were average to a working day. I thought that was a regular experience, however, Breaking Blue have endeavoured to do so much more.


Consumerism in China has come a long way since the initial market policies of the early 1980s. A whole generation has now been born into China’s burgeoning consumer society, and they are departing from the less commercial views of their parents. This generation is shaping China’s development – it is their attitudes and buying habits that will impact on how the West responds to, and works with, China’s growth.

In this presentation, Alison Hulme outlines some of the key trends in China’s consumer market, examining the attitudes behind consumerism in 21st Century; looking at, for example, generational differences in consumerism, the popularity of copycat goods and the reasons behind certain brand messaging successes and failures.

Read ‘Understanding the Chinese consumer in the 21st century’ here.