Supermarket sweep: Whose shoppers are healthiest?

supermarkets2UK supermarkets may have been on a major drive to improve the nation’s waistlines and well-being but it appears not all customers are following the health mantra, with a new analysis by Metrix Data Science sorting the slaves to fitness from the slobs and the old soaks from the sober.

To carry out the analysis, MDS has taken samples of people who live in a half a mile radius to each of the supermarkets and used its Vigor health and wellbeing segmentation tool, created using a clustering algorithm which combined large scale survey data and demographic information to create segments.

The algorithm assigned each UK postcode a segment, each segment having shared characteristics, producing 18 distinct health and wellbeing segments. In addition to this, Vigor also focused on happiness metrics.

To understand consumers’ overall health, Metrix Data Science has developed an individual wellbeing score. The average wellbeing score incorporates a number of different health metrics across diet, activeness and health.

The overall average score for the UK is 100, meaning those supermarkets whose wellbeing score is under 100 most likely have shoppers who are not into their health and fitness. On the other hand, those supermarkets with a wellbeing score over 100 have customers who are most likely into their health and fitness.

Asda may be famous for rolling back their prices, but fewer are aware that Asda shoppers are the handiest in the kitchen. Their culinary inclination is matched by them being the most likely to eat meat. The largest segment within Asda customers are Vegaphobes which is the segment that are least likely to eat fruit and veg.

However, it seems all this cooking comes with a cost, apparently Asda shoppers are comparatively the most likely to be bloated, they also have the lowest happiness index score of 76. On a digressionary note, Asda customers have the highest proclivity for smoking and have the least energy.

Meanwhile, Co-op shoppers are overrepresented by Fight Through Adversity, individuals in this segment are an active bunch with a fifth exercising every day.

Unsurprisingly straining sinews all day takes it out of you, so it follows Co-op shoppers are also the best sleepers. Co-op shoppers have a slightly above average wellbeing score of 104, making them a middle-of-the-road group in terms of health and wellbeing.

When it comes to Iceland, its shoppers tend to be a fairly unremarkable bunch, having few health and wellbeing metrics in which they are overrepresented. The exception is their tendency for a tipple.

Indeed, to borrow the chain’s well-used strapline, mum has not only gone to Iceland, it appears she loves going down the pub, too, with Iceland shoppers nearly twice as likely to belong to the Boozing Buddies segment compared to other segments. Boozing Buddies, as the name suggests, are into their drink. Approximately a fifth drink every day or most days.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, Iceland customers score fairly low down in terms of their average wellbeing score, which sits at 95, and their happiness score is the second lowest of all the different shoppers.

Things only get worse when it comes to Lidl, as the Vigor segments that tend to be dominant are ones towards the lower end of the health range. For example, Lidl shoppers are almost twice as likely to be a Down but not Out. This segment contains individuals with the lowest levels of energy and a high proportion of overweight adults. They are one of the most likely segment to suffer from Type 2 diabetes.

Morrisons comes second in terms of the most likely to be bloated and the most likely to eat meat, losing out on both counts to Asda customers. This analysis would seem to suggest a link between meat eating and feelings of bloatedness.

This is backed up by the science, the protein contained in meat is harder to break down – causing bloating. Similar to Lidl shoppers, Morrisons’ customers tend to be over-represented by Vigor segments like Cheerless Carnivores, Down but no Out and Stuck in the Mud.

Tesco is the largest supermarket in terms of store numbers in the UK, and its shoppers rank slightly above the UK average when it comes to overall health and wellbeing. They are the second most active shoppers, and, with this, like to reward themselves with a drink, ranking second in the most likely to enjoy a tipple.

Another potentially counterintuitive insight from this analysis is that M&S shoppers are towards the lower end of the healthy diet scale. However, they have many redeeming qualities in that they are the least likely to drink alcohol, the second happiest customers and one of the most active groups.

M&S shoppers have a high penetration of Hedged Hedonists. This segment is the second healthiest Vigor segment, being the most likely segment to exercise every day. Despite their proclivity for exercise, however, Hedged Hedonists love to let themselves go, being one of the most likely segments to drink every day and consume ready meals more than four times a week.

Sainsbury’s shoppers on the other hand score higher in terms of health metrics. They tend to have a lot of energy and are the least likely of all customers to have a disability. Sainsburys shoppers have the second healthiest diet. Sainsbury’s shoppers are overrepresented by the Vigor group Glum and Groomed, this segment scores around average on most health and wellbeing metrics.

Finally, Waitrose has the highest proportion of Wellbeing Warriors compared to other supermarket shoppers. This attests to the fact that they enjoy remarkably good health. It is therefore no real shock that they have the highest happiness score.

This might explain why they are the most inclined to consider themselves attractive. However, its not all sunshine and roses for Waitrose customers, they tend to be the worst sleepers and are the least handy in the kitchen.

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