NEWS14 December 2021

Market research industry grows despite Covid-19

Covid-19 Inclusion News Sustainability Trends UK

UK – The UK market research industry’s top 100 companies grew 0.8% year-on-year in 2020 with a collective turnover of £4.1bn, according to the Market Research Society’s Research Live Industry Report 2022.

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The report found that overall growth had slowed compared with recent years, partly due to Covid-19 and lockdown-related disruptions during 2020, but that nevertheless more than half of companies grew in the past year.

The figures mean the UK remains the largest European research market, accounting for 40% of the continent’s research output, employing at least 64,000 people nationwide and with a total industry value of more than £7bn.

The report also covers the MRS league tables, which include the fastest-growing research agencies and businesses based on 2020 financial data submitted this year, focusing on UK-based turnover and international work managed in the country.

The league tables for the first time highlight companies that have signed up to the MRS’s inclusion and net zero pledges, with more than 70 companies having signed up to one or both of the pledges.

Jane Frost, chief executive at MRS, said: “At an unstable time for many industries, it’s encouraging to see that the research sector is still growing.

“Reports on future growth are generally optimistic, but there is work to do to ensure this becomes more even across the sector and to capitalise on the vital role research has played with government and businesses as they have navigated through the pandemic.”

Frost also said that progress was being made on the industry’s inclusion and net zero pledges.

“I am confident that we will see more of the larger businesses sign up in the coming 12 months,” Frost added.

“The progress we’ve made over the past two years puts the sector in a good position to continue to demonstrate the strategic importance of research and to effect positive change for communities here in the UK and internationally.”

The Research Live Industry Report 2022 can be downloaded here.