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Tesco Customer Family Segmentation

In 2015 Tesco provided an insight into the typical ‘Tesco Customer’.  They did this by creating what they called ‘Tesco Families’, five profiles of the typical (and very different) customers that use their stores. This article will provide an overview of these shopper personas and discuss the things Tesco will have considered to create them.

The ‘Tesco Families’ profiles are based on research and analysis. To create them, Tesco needed to think about:

What Are Demographics?

Demographics are used in a marketing campaign to target a specific subgroup of the population. Typically, they are based on things that can be easily measured like, age, sex, income, job, nationality, religion and level of education. Often, several demographics will be considered for a single campaign. For instance, a mobile phone provider might target a market with single college students, ages 18 to 24. Using the three key demographics of, relationship status, age and level of education. This is an example of one method that marketers can use to divide the mass market into subsets (or groups) of buyers known as segments.

Why Is Segmentation Important?

Simply put, because everyone is different! Supermarkets need to tailor their offerings to reflect that.  Nonetheless, they can’t create a marketing strategy that is unique to each individual.  However, grouping consumers by common needs and buying behaviour(s) will help them get closer to this.  Furthermore, rarely will one product meet the needs of the entire market.  By segmenting and breaking the market into smaller groups it allows a better understanding of the shopper and consumer. Segmentation is key to targeting particular groups in relation to activities, such as:

  • Product (range offered).
  • Price.
  • Promotions and advertising.
  • Place  (location or where it is sold).

In marketing terms, this is called the marketing mix (4Ps).  It is a crucial tool to help plan and develop a successful product offering.

Tesco Customer Families:

Tesco has performed extensive research into their shoppers. From their research, they were able to develop the ‘Tesco Five Families’. By identifying these 5 segments of the market, Tesco can target their products to better meet the individual needs of their customers.

Click the image below to download the full grouping for each of the Tesco customer shopper types:

Tesco Customer'Families' brochure

Tesco’s research has identified 5 distinct ‘Family’ segments:

1. Tesco Customer – Pre-Family – aka. Roshni

“Super busy at work, it’s definitely my priority at the moment. Then there’s friends and socialising. I fit in the gym and yoga around that.”

Who Are They?

  • This group tend to be youthful, spontaneous and have less routine in their lives.
  • There is an early focus on career development.
  • Social media plays an important role in how they engage with others.

Attitude Towards Food and Grocery Shopping:

  • The pre-family group prefers to eat food out and ‘grab & go’.


  • They prefer low-cost travel, exercise, music and pubs/bars.

Grocery Buying Behaviour:

  • This group tend to shop less often for groceries.
  • They prefer close and convenient stores to support their lifestyle.
  • Loyalty, to any particular retailer, is low.

How Does Tesco Meet their Needs?

Tesco provides the Express and Metro formats for convenience. They need to ensure this format delivers well priced fresh food, rather than simply ready meals.  Furthermore, increased social media presence and the development of online click & collect are key tools to engage with this segment.

2. Tesco Customer – Lower Affluent Families – aka. The Wicks

“We’ve done our hardship, we’re not rich by any means but we’re a loving family and no one ever goes away hungry or thirsty from our house.”

Who Are They?

  • As the name suggests, lower affluent families are less well-off and have low disposable income.
  • Their lives are dominated by money constraints and they have to keep a tight budget.

Attitude Towards Food and Grocery Shopping:

  • This group tend to shop for groceries (as opposed to convenience food) to keep within family budgets.
  • They tend to buy cheap and convenient products.
  • There is a propensity for the family to eat different meals at different times.


  • Leisure time is a luxury and tends to be special nights at home or simple relaxing holidays.

How Does Tesco Meet their Needs?

To gain loyalty from this group Tesco has to deliver good value and affordable products.  They use their larger stores to provide greater range and choice.   This benefits the lower income families as they are more convenient in format and tend to be perceived as having a price premium.  However, for this group, Tesco needs to address the perception that small format stores are more expensive than the larger ones.  Due to tight budgets, this group will switch to a discounter if they don’t get good value for their money.

3. Tesco Customer – Higher Affluent Families aka. The Mayers

“Life’s hectic. The kids are always out with their stuff, we both work, we’re rarely ever in one place together. Life’s good though, stressful but good.”

Who Are They?

  • In many respects, this group has similar traits to the lower affluent families.
  • Balancing budgets, looking after their family and navigating their busy work life dominates their time.

Attitude Towards Food and Grocery Shopping:

  • This group favours quality, nutritional and healthy food options, as opposed to cheaper and more convenient products.


  • Spending a large amount of time online is a key characteristic of this group.
  • They also favour quality downtime in the form of holidays and travel.

How Does Tesco Meet their Needs?

In terms of products, Tesco meets the needs of this segment in areas such as price, range and choice. Interestingly, it is the non-physical aspects of the shopping experience (augmented product) that are important to this group.  These include ease of parking, levels of store hygiene, or the quality of top-up options. It is in these areas where Tesco will win with this group.

4. Tesco Customer – Lower Affluent Post-Families aka. Carol

“I had heart failure 5 years ago so I gave up my job so I don’t do a lot now. Always try to keep busy though; play cards with my friends, go up the arcade and I’m shopping every day.”

Who Are They?

  • Life is becoming simpler for the people in this group.
  • With more time, bargain hunting and achieving good value is very important.

Attitude Towards Food and Grocery Shopping:

  • Shopping is often a daily routine and is seen as a key activity.  Consequently, it is used to maintain an active lifestyle and social presence in the local community.
  • This group likes to cook simple meals, often using locally sourced ingredients.
  • They do not tend to buy frozen or ready meals.


  • Leisure time is all about simple pleasures and includes the daily trip to the supermarket!
  • This group tend to enjoy traditional forms of media, such as television and radio.

How Does Tesco Meet their Needs?

Shopping locally will typically be in smaller format stores. These, however, are often seen as expensive and offer a limited range. This is a challenge for Tesco.  They need to offer the right prices (for the smaller pack sizes) and, very importantly, a friendly personal service.  In addition, developing a greater personal approach to service will have a lasting effect on this group.

5. Tesco Customer – Higher Affluent Post-Families aka. Dawn

“We do have days out, we often go to London…I’ve got my family, I see them quite a lot. I’m a member of Nottingham Society of Artists, tend to go away a lot, to Spain. I haven’t got any grandchildren, I have a grand-puppy.”

Who Are They?

  • This group has high disposable income.
  • They have time to socialise, travel and enjoy good food.
  • At the later stages of their career. Consequently, they now prioritise developing a lifestyle of varied interests and renewed learning.

Attitude Towards Food and Grocery Shopping:

  • This segment tends to ‘scratch cook’ often.
  • They favour selected products from local independent stores and premium brands from, for example, Tesco, Sainsbury’s and Waitrose.
  • They also eat out on a regular basis.


  • This group travels regularly.
  • Preferred day-to-day activities are, for instance, the arts, golf and other cultural and sporting events.
  • They also tend to enjoy traditional forms of media, such as television and radio.

How Does Tesco Meet their Needs?

Tesco’s challenge is to match the quality afforded by local independent outlets within their small format offering. Furthermore, Tesco must ensure that the small store format delivers the level of service that is expected of a ‘local shop’, playing a role in the wider community.

Image of MBM Funnel

Do you want to identify more practical insights which will lead to real category growth?  Take one of our Category Management Training Masterclasses. Using tools like the MBM Category Management Funnel (above) we can help you gain further insight and help you understand the shopper better. Our trainers have worked on both sides of the fence and know the challenges of working with the big four supermarkets, plus we also know how they think and what their hot buttons are.  Our unique Sticky Learning ® training method ensures that 80% of our Learners are still using their new skill 5 months later – We guarantee it!

A great example of Tesco 5 Families being brought to life by one of our clients on our Category Management Training Course:

Example of an MBM Learner's Tesco Families Infographic


For more information, watch our one minute video on Tesco Families below:


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Andy Palmer

About Andy Palmer

Andy started at the coal face with eight years in food retailing. Prior to joining MBM he then spent five years in the supply base in positions of category analysis, category management and account management. He works as part of the team enabling suppliers to UK supermarkets to secure more profitable wins through people development. He specialises in Category Management Training and is a qualified HBDI practitioner.

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