A large, global FMCG company wanted a kitchen-level understanding of people’s meal preparation – across 20 countries including emerging markets Brazil, Argentina, Mexico, Turkey, South Africa, the Philippines and Vietnam.

Already armed with a great deal of attitudinal and behavioural knowledge from traditional qualitative and quantitative research, they wanted a first-hand view of meal life cycle – from key meal decisions and food preparation … to plating meals, cleaning, and storing leftovers.

They wanted to witness first-hand WHAT people are doing, HOW they are doing it, and use this to understand more deeply the WHYs behind behaviours.

Global Objectives

  • Truly experience meal preparation from the eyes of the person
  • Examine claimed versus actual behaviour
  • Search for clues on emerging trends or behaviours
  • Compare and contrast behaviours and beliefs across many countries
  • Understand topics relevant to internal objectives – cooking, baking, use of particular ingredients

Local Objectives

  • Understand regional consumer segments
  • Consider local questions and hypotheses as part of the research



75 people across 20 countries were asked to record themselves preparing and consuming food throughout the day. This included breakfast, lunch, dinner, and a baking or snacking activity

 Google Glass recorded first-person video and audio of these 300 meals, with people narrating as they cooked

200 hours of global footage analysed by weseethrough’s coding team and uploaded onto the video curation platform, Haystack. Haystack’s advanced behavioural coding and transcription capabilities helped unearth rich quantitative data and bring-to-life examples of behaviour for the team to see

 Haystack allowed weseethrough researchers to mine for unarticulated nuances that could inform new product ideas, ways of communicating, emerging behaviours, or future trends

 Online interviews were conducted to probe further into habits and further compare claimed and actual behaviour, providing additional texture to the learnings

Hours of footage


Disconnect Between Saying and Doing

When asked to recall the time it takes to cook, or the actual amount of ingredients they use, the people were often wildly inaccurate! Even in the moment, there are disconnects between what people are saying and what they are doing. These differences suggest a desire to be healthier, appear more knowledgeable about recipes and ingredients, or do what they ‘should’ be doing. But in reality, the people want and need great taste, flavour, and texture.

Implications included: new product innovation, packaging structure, on-pack communication

 Consider product-based strategies that help people eat healthier, without compromising on taste  

The World’s Kitchens – Online

Across the global markets, laptops and phones were being used to access Internet destinations – right in the kitchen.

Implications included: digital marketing, campaign creative / brand messaging

More overall marketing focus should be placed in the digital realm – integrating and featuring products

 Products and brands should aim to be top-of-the-list when people search for new recipes, recipe ideas, or other new-dish inspiration

 Tailored digital plans should focus strongly on new recipes versus traditional ones, as people are much less likely to consult on the latter
Products From One ‘Culture’ Into Another

weseethrough saw examples of a sauce from one culture being used widely in a second country for yet a third purpose! [Illustrative example: Like a Moroccan using Jamaican jerk seasoning while preparing a ‘traditional’ English Sunday roast*]

Implications included: new product innovation, portfolio management

Consider how products from other parts of the global portfolio can be introduced to new regions

Not the actual example
Customising Amounts to Suit

Across the world, many people customised the amounts of pre-made sauces and seasonings – even if not the manufacturer’s intent. They did this for taste, health, recipe size reasons, and for some, financial reasons.

Implications included: new product innovation, packaging structure, on-pack communication

Consider packaging and delivery innovation that allows people to ‘right size’ premade sauces or spices for health, taste, or household size