Symanto Releases Sainsbury’s Sentiment Report for Due Diligence amid Takeover Speculation


After the sale of Morrison’s, the UK’s  supermarket chain, to Clayton, Dubilier & Rice last month, there’s been a lot of speculation amongst investors about the possibility of a takeover of rival supermarket chain, Sainsbury’s.

News that US buyer firm Apollo was considering a bid sent Sainsbury’s shares skyrocketing by 15% at the beginning of last week, only to dip by 3% on Friday after UBS deemed that Apollo was merely exploring the idea.

But speculation remains strong, not only that Sainsbury’s could be released to private equity, but that the trend would extend across all UK supermarkets. The Financial Times quoted analyst Clive Black of Shore Capital, Morrison’s house broker, as saying, “we do not believe it is fanciful to speculate that there will be no listed UK supermarkets in due course.”

And it’s not just supermarkets that are implicated, UK high street giant Marks & Spencer has also been thrown into the mix of possible companies to be released to private equity.

Investors, private equity firms, merger & acquisition consultants and buyout firms are all weighing their options and keen to research the future of UK supermarkets should they turn to private equity.

In light of this, we at Symanto have released a white paper report analysing supermarket/retailer sentiment amongst consumers. The report is aimed to assist in thorough and accurate due diligence reporting.

Continue reading for an overview of the information you can find in the report.

The Symanto Sainsbury’s Report


The Sainsbury’s report compares the supermarket chain with four of its leading competitors: Aldi, Asda, Tesco, and Waitrose in the UK market only.


A full brand analysis of such a large size and scope takes our team 3-5 business days to complete, but it is available now for purchase.

Data sources

Overall, Symanto has collected almost 2 million comments for the Sainsbury’s report. The data for the analysis is taken from posts and reviews published across social media sites Facebook and YouTube, and review sites TrustPilot, Influenster, Google app and Apple store. The data entries date from July 2019 to July 2021 across the UK.

Symanto uses state-of-the-art Natural Language Processing technology to thoroughly and accurately analyse hundreds of thousands of data entries. This qualitative data is organically produced by consumers online, and as such, it is rich in organic and unbiased insights directly from the customers themselves.


From hundreds of thousands of data entries (1,992,757 to be exact) the Sainsbury’s report provides a thorough analysis of sentiment, topics mainly discussed by consumers, drivers and barriers, psychographics and more. Below, we’ve broken down exactly what is analysed with a short description of each factor.

1.Volume of conversations / timeline analysis

Compare how many mentions each supermarket has. This information will give you a sense of their popularity, and spikes in activity can point you towards key marketing campaigns or even PR disasters that are worth assessing separately.

For Sainsbury’s, we identified a high peak of conversations in

a. Spring 2020, due to the onset of COVID-19 pandemic in the UK (conversations around out-of-stock products, long queues, etc.)

b. Autumn 2020, due to the release of the Sainsbury’s Christmas ad, which received racist online backlash and a subsequent show of support from the public, other UK Supermarkets, and TV broadcaster, Channel 4.

2.Risks & opportunities

What exactly are the customers of each supermarket brand saying? Get immediate insight into the topics inspiring conversation online. Our advanced Natural Language Processing technology reliably measures positive, negative and neutral sentiment to give a more accurate idea of consumers satisfaction per brand and topic (e.g. customer service, quality, pricing, etc.)

Use this information to uncover potential risks and opportunities but also deep dive into competitor insights and identify gaps in the retail market.

3.Customer psychographics

Identify and explore churn-risks by further segmenting consumers based on unique psychographics.

What personality types make up the consumer base of each brand? Is Sainsbury’s main competitor also that which has the largest share of the market, or do they share a consumer base with an emotionally driven competitor?

Whether a consumer base is motivated by emotions or logic can have implications regarding customer loyalty. For example, would customers travel further to get to Sainsbury’s if there is an ASDA nearby, or if Tesco were to offer a cheaper alternative? This information can help you forecast the impact of potential marketing and branding strategies in the event of a takeover.

4.Real comments & word clouds

The Sainsbury’s report isolates key quotes from consumer posts and reviews that illustrate the strengths and challenges of each brand and the drivers and barriers faced by consumers.

Get a greater understanding of what really matters to customers and how each brand is perceived and described on various online review sites and social media channels.

Read the full report

The full Sainsbury’s sentiment analysis due diligence report is available for purchase, get in touch for more information.