Food and Beverage Consumer Focus Groups | How Does the Process Work?

Focus groups are one of the most effective ways food and beverage (F&B) companies can analyze consumer opinions, emotions, and feedback regarding their products.

The insights derived from F&B focus groups can help determine critical marketing decisions such as shelf product placement, packaging, best sources of advertising, etc.

Not only do consumer focus groups provide the most in-depth insight compared to surveys or other quantitative research studies, but this type of qualitative project can also be completed in under 90-minutes.

With the help of a focus group company, your food and beverage company can find the most qualified participants, ask objective-based questions, and start making smart market strategies based on direct consumer feedback.

How to Conduct a Food and Beverage Consumer Focus Group

Drive Research, a food and beverage market research company, conducted a F&B focus group for a company that develops plant-based substitutes for meat products. We’ll walk you through the overview of the project, our process for recruitment, and what to expect when conducting focus groups at our facility.  


Overview of Food and Beverage Market Research Project

A food and beverage company was looking to hire a market research company for a qualitative study in Upstate New York. The market research was focused on grocery shoppers who consume meat and shop at a specific local grocery store.

To address these objectives, Drive Research recommended hosting two consumer focus groups at our facility in Syracuse, New York. Our food and beverage market research company planned to recruit a total of 11 participants per focus group in order to sit 6 to 8.

Drive Research recommends over recruiting for qualitative research. It is important to account for last-minute cancellations due to changes in participant’s schedules, weather, sickness, etc. If participants do cancel, our focus group company is able to fill empty seats, even in last-minute scenarios.


What is the Process When Recruiting Participants for Food and Beverage Focus Groups?

The qualitative recruiting process for the food and beverage focus group client consisted of two components. Drive Research, who specializes in qualitative recruiting, finds great success with paid randomized social media advertising.

Our recruiters are experienced to determine what behavioral and audience targeting is necessary to find high-quality participants based on a client’s screening criteria. With this stringent process in place, Drive Research is able to offer highly competitive rates when recruiting for focus groups.

Aside from social media ads, our focus group company also utilized target email lists of panel participants living in the Syracuse Designated Market Area (DMA).

The screening criteria for this particular consumer focus group recruit included:

  • Must reside in the Syracuse area
  • All must be Millennials ages 21-35 years old, with a range of ages within each group
  • Household income $35k+ (unless student)
  • All must be a college grad or higher
  • Must consume meat products at least once a week
  • Must shop at one of the specified local grocery stores and have purchased from this store within the last month
  • Participants cannot make food and beverage decision solely on price
  • All must be primary shopper/decision-maker

What happens after someone clicks on a social media ad or an email invitation?

After seeing a social media ad or email invitation, interested parties click a link to complete a screening survey. A recruitment screener for a food and beverage focus group will assure all participants meet the qualifications set forth by the client and that potential participants are available on the day of the focus group.

Qualified survey screener respondents are then screened again by our recruitment team via phone. This step verifies participants were truthful in their answers, and answer any questions they may have about the focus groups.

From there, participants are sent a confirmation email with a calendar invitation asking them to reply back “yes.” Additionally, our focus group company makes reminder phone calls and sends a reminder text days leading up to the qualitative study.

Together, our qualitative recruitment process creates a nice rapport between our team and our participants. This helps improve show rates for all of our focus groups.


Food and Beverage Consumer Focus Groups

The two focus groups were hosted on Monday evening January 14, 2019. Each group lasted 90 minutes to 2 hours. Each participant received a $75 honorarium processed by Drive Research as a thank you for their commentary and time.

Team members from the food and beverage company were welcomed to oversee the group discussion in our client viewing room. Our clients were able to watch, listen, and comment on the focus groups in a private setting – without actually having to be in the room.

Client Viewing Room at Focus Group Facility

Can remote employees watch the focus groups?

There were team members of the F&B company who were not able to visit our Syracuse focus group facility. In this case, nonlocal team members were able to watch to focus groups through a private streaming link.

Plus, both consumer focus groups were recorded with full transcriptions for the food and beverage company to keep and watch or review at a later date. This assured all consumer feedback was reported and accounted for.  


Contact Drive Research

Drive Research is a market research company located in Upstate, NY. Thinking about renting our focus group facility for your qualitative market research needs? Or, need assistance on recruiting participants for a focus group?

Reach out through any of the four ways below.

  1. Message us on our website
  2. Email us at info@driveresearch.com
  3. Call us at 888-725-DATA
  4. Text us at 315-303-2040

Focus Groups Market Research Case Studies