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Mustard exists to help clients make better, more informed decisions, faster. We believe research investment should deliver ROI. Our services help clients to make money, save money, reduce risk, improve products / services / communications or deliver a social return on investment.

We live and breathe our values. Our business philosophy is “Making the Difference” and is underpinned by four core beliefs:

1. Making it easy: delivering a seamless, hassle-free, quality service for our clients.

2. Fingers-on-the-pulse: we are in-the-know and at the forefront of what we do.

3. Commercial thinking: combining immersion, intelligence and realism.

4. Passionate people: enthusiastic and always switched on.

We conduct research across sectors including (but not limited to) financial services, retail, food/drink/FMCG, leisure, b2b, building/construction, education, transport authorities, public services, technology, professional services, charities, social housing, healthcare, chemicals and pharma.

We lead the way in developing new techniques for insight capture and dissemination. We excel in online communities. We can deliver a pop-up online community for less than the cost of four focus groups.

Our Pickles app for mobile qualitative has revolutionsied our ability to capture real-time, real-life insight cost effectively.

Our business was born from delivering brand and customer satisfaction tracking and benchmarking. Today our specialisms include:

1. Branding, brand perceptions and brand tracking (including the Brand Alignment Monitor)

2. Customer satisfaction, customer journey, customer experience

3. Segmentation

4. Innovation - using our POPCORN methodology

5. Product / Service / Communications / Concept testing and development

6. Stakeholder engagement

7. Advanced analytics (our specialist sister company - Honeycomb - launched in 2018)

Our specialisms

Accountancy, Automotive, Central Government, Charities/Voluntary, Drinks (Alcoholic), Drinks (Non-alcoholic), Education/Training, Energy/Utilities, Engineering, Entertainment – in home, Entertainment – out of home, Fashion/Clothing, Finance/Investment – Business, Finance/Investment – Personal, FMCG – General, Food, Gambling/Online Gaming, Healthcare, Industrial/Chemicals, Insurance, Legal, Local Government/Local Authority, Non-Profit, Office Equipment, Online Retail, Pets/Petcare, Property/Construction/Housing, Public Services, Retail, Sport/Leisure/Arts, Technology, Toiletries/Beauty Products, Transportation, Travel/Tourism, Wellness/Fitness
Advertising, Analytics, Behaviour Insights, Brand/Branding, Business-to-Business, Communications/PR, Competitive Intelligence, Concept Testing, Consumer, Customer Communities, Customer Experience, Customer Loyalty, Data Analytics, Direct Marketing/Promotions, Employee Research, International, Multi-Mode Fieldwork, New Product Development, Online Panels, Packaging/Design, Pricing, Product Testing, Social Research, Usage & Attitude
Ad hoc, Advanced Statistical Techniques, Benchmark Studies, CATI, Co-creation, Consultancy, Continuous, Creative development research, Data Analytics, Depth Interviews, Desk Research, Diary Studies, Ethnography, Event Evaluation, Executive Interviews, Face-to-Face, Focus Groups/Group Discussion, Gamification, Hall Tests, In-store/exit Interviews, Literature reviews, Mobile Surveys, Multivariate Stats and Modelling, Mystery Shopping, Observation, Online Communities, Online Focus Group Hosting, Online Qualitative, Online Research/CAWI, Online Results and Data Portals, Online Surveys, Postal Research, Qualitative, Quantitative, Questionnaire Design, Semiotics, Street/Mall Interviews, Telephone Interviewing, Tracking, User Experience, Workshops
Affluent, Asian/Asian British, Black/Black British, Children & Young People, Disabled people (physical/sensory impairment/learning difficulty), Eastern European, Ethnic Minorities, Faith Communities, High Net Worth, Hispanic Heritage, LGBTQI+, Men, Mixed heritage, Muslim/Arab, Older People, Parents, People of Colour, People with mental health difficulties, Seldom Heard Audiences, Single Parents, Umemployed/N.E.E.T, University/College Students, Victims of crime, Vulnerable adults, Welsh speakers, Women, Youth/Teens
Africa, Australasia, Canada, Caribbean, Central America, Central Asia, Central Europe, China, Eastern Europe, France, India/Pakistan, Japan, Middle East, Northern/Western Europe, Other, Pacific Rim, Republic of Ireland, Russia, Scandinavia, South America, UK, USA, Worldwide

Our people

Senior Contacts

Colin Auton (Managing Director)

Ian Font (Director)

Gareth Hodgson (Director)

Richard Walker (Director)

Breakdown of Personnel

Admin/Support staff: 2

Executive/Research staff: 13

Non-research: 4

Data processing: 3

Total Number of Employees: 21 to 50


“Mustard’s creative approach brought new insights into RNIB, helping us to understand the value blind and partially sighted people place on connecting with one another and the problems they face when trying to connect. In co-creation workshops Mustard helped us to design a new Community Connection offer, based on these insights. The new service offer was launched in April 2020 and has become our primary Covid-19 response, supporting thousands of people with sight loss to meet virtually, which has had a positive impact on their feelings of isolation and loneliness. The service has been so successful, that it has attracted £600K in external funding to expand the service, enabling us to reach more people at a time of crisis.”


“We have partnered with Mustard for a number of years now and they have truly become an integral part of the Studio team. They have made such a difference in bringing our customer to life throughout the business in a number of creative ways. The insight and project support they provide feeds directly in to our strategic decision making and provides invaluable information in which to plan our future activity. Gareth and the team are well known within the business and do an amazing job of effectively delivering complex customer insight in a way that is easy to digest and applicable for teams to utilise. They are a fountain of knowledge on our customer and we often ask them to feed in thinking outside of their remit, which we are grateful they are always happy to help with. A testament to how valued their knowledge and opinion are within Studio..”

Studio Retail Ltd.

“We have used Mustard on a number of projects now, from Brand Proposition Testing to NPD pipeline research. The research feedback has provided invaluable insight which has allowed us to focus on the most important areas and reduce the risk associated with key commercial decisions.”

Calbee Group UK

“Working with Mustard on the Young Person’s Alcohol and Tobacco research programme has really helped TSNW understand where, when, how and why young people access age restricted products and enabled us to ask the questions we need to answer to focus our very limited enforcement resources effectively. We can see it’s made a difference – when we first started 15 years ago 29% of young people in the North West were regular binge drinkers compared to just 8% this year, and in 2005 40% of young people purchased alcohol themselves from shops – that’s come down to just 12% this year. Knowing where, when, how and why young people access these products has helped us work with partners to bring those rates down – we’ve still got a job to do but we’ve come a long way thanks to the support we’ve had from Mustard.”

Trading Standards North-West

“The research carried out by Mustard allowed us to get a really deep understanding of our consumer, from how they shop to how they perceive brands in the category. The insights have made a huge difference across our business; from a more defined communications strategy, more considered NPD pipeline and enabled us to have more informed discussions with Category Managers..”

BFree Foods

“Working with Mustard has been the difference between taking products to market we think our customers might like vs products we know our customers need - which can be the difference between failure and success for us. We choose to continue working with Mustard because they pull out all the stops to get us the market information we need. On a human level, Mustard are a pleasure to work with, communicating regularly and adapting to any challenges we face with confidence and expertise. If you've never worked with a market research agency before, I would recommend reaching out to Mustard, they will give you all the guidance and support you need on the journey to delivering results.”

Build Empire

“We have been working with Mustard for over 3 years now and have been delighted with all aspects of their work and always found the team to be really great to work with. They advised on a single co-ordinated approach linked to the portal, enabling us to see the results in real time and compare performance over time for the whole organisation and for individual teams. We were keen to make sure the consultation could be carried out in both Welsh and English and we are very happy with the bilingual system implemented. We particularly like the 6 monthly feedback workshops on how each service can improve results – during the workshops our team leaders agree actions that will drive improvements in the next 6 months. This has led to some significant improvements in Adra’s customer satisfaction results, something we are really proud of..”

ADRA Housing Association

"Mustard invested time in listening to and understanding the research needs of our internal stakeholders, ensuring our ‘Measuring Performance’ survey collected the member insights necessary to support evidence-based decision making across the business. Results have informed our business planning processes, so that our work better reflects the needs and expectations of the different segments within our membership – which should lead to higher levels of overall satisfaction. Mustard’s forward-looking approach, the commitment to making a difference and the experience and energy of its staff make Mustard a pleasure to work with. I’m looking forward to our next project together.”

The Law Society

“VisitAberdeenshire prioritises evidence-based decision making and the work undertaken by Mustard helps deliver this, particularly within the area of consumer marketing. We have engaged the expertise of Mustard on several past projects. With each one we have been very impressed with the professionalism and initiative shown by Anthony and the team.”


“New Balance Football commissioned Mustard as a preferred research and insight partner, recognising their wealth of experience in delivering quality insight enabling us to make more informed decisions within the product innovation & creation engine. In seeking to better understand our target consumer group – the 17 year old serious aspirer, Mustard scoped out a body of work to help determine what elements of football boots are considered most relevant, salient and desirable to them in addition to more robustly understanding their boot buying journey. Multiple insight capture tools were utilised across the course of the project; a ‘real-time’ qualitive app-based study across the course of two weeks engaged 12 serious aspirers on their preferences, playing experience and buyer journey. Smaller scale focus groups dug deeper into the discussion topics generated real-time, with a larger scale survey and MaxDiff statistical analysis tool used to determine those factors that were definitively most/least important within their decision making set. The insight has continued to form a solid foundation to our product briefing process & creative function, ensuring that as we innovate our boots in to the future, they’re fulfilling a targeted consumer need – allowing our boots to perform at the highest level of the game..”

New Balance

“We have saved in excess of £2million throughout this year by introducing the new switch functionality. The number of customers saved is in excess of 1,500. An average saving per policy has been calculated at £1,100.”

Aviva UK Life

“Brilliant to see an instant reaction to the new Carlsberg Export advert when it aired. Unprompted and in situ responses provide an extra dimension when we talk to both customers and colleagues about the evaluation of the advert. Great and innovative way to approach research on-the-fly!”

Carlsberg UK

“Mustard were able to distil a large amount of observational research into a succinct set of customer needs which they communicated in a clear yet insightful way.”

GE Healthcare

The research Mustard conducted for us recently was excellent. They brought fresh thinking to the table in their proposal and delivered an insightful piece which has been very well received by stakeholders”


“The Mustard team build a great rapport with the participants and are like-minded people- fun and easy to work with.”

Tangle Teezer



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