How to Conduct a Beverage Development Market Research Study

With consumer trends constantly evolving, brands need to adjust their strategy and their products to keep up. Market research is a valuable tool for brands to ensure they are staying relevant in the ever-changing market. 

For example, one leading manufacturer of carbonated soft drinks partnered with our research firm to conduct a two-part taste testing market research study of a new product. 

In this case study, Drive Research outlines details of the beverage development market research study including the project’s objectives, target participant, approach, and results.

Beverage Development Market Research Study

The Challenge of the Soda Brand

When launching a new product, it is important to rely on a small sample of consumer feedback before a full roll-out.

Conducting beverage development market research is a data-driven approach to collecting consumer feedback and making adjustments to a new product before its full launch. Learn about the process Drive Research followed for a leading soda brand. 

In doing so, the soda brand can make any necessary adjustments before introducing the product to its national audience.

The beverage development research study was designed to address the following objectives: 

  • Assessing the level of difficulty of finding the product in-store 
  • Examining shelf-reactions to the product in-store. 
  • Gauge reactions to name, packaging, and taste. 
  • Determine if the product lived up to expectations following the tasting. 
  • Evaluating purchase intent following the tasting. 

The Audience for Beverage Development Testing

Our new product development market research firm recruited 104 participants to achieve a goal of 95 completed 6-week follow-ups. 

To find the targeted audience for this research study, our firm screened for the following criteria: 

  • Consumers 18 years and older
  • A security screen to ensure participants do not work in the carbonated soft drink industry. 
  • Purchase and consume carbonated soft drinks at least monthly. 
  • Non-rejector to our client’s brand 

Conducting Beverage Development Market Research

Once we understood the soda brand’s objectives and target audience, Drive Research used the following process to execute this in-store and in-home test. 

Step #1. Launch a Pre-Screener to Source a Pool of Qualified Contacts

As the first step of recruitment, we programmed a recruitment screener survey to determine qualifications for interested consumers. 

The pre-screener included questions such as: 

  • Are you over the age of 18? 
  • How often do you purchase and consume carbonated soft drinks? 
  • Which of the following carbonated soft drink flavors have you personally purchased and drank in the past 3 months?
  • Which of the following carbonated soft drink brands have you personally purchased and drank in the past year?
  • Which of the following brands would you consider purchasing and drinking?
  • Do you or does anyone in your household work in any of the following types of companies, industries, or professions?

After our pre-screener is designed, programmed, and tested we launched targeted social media ads to reach consumers. 

To learn more about social media recruiting, [Ultimate Guide]: How to Use Social Media to Recruit Research Participants

Step #2. Schedule Qualified Consumers

As an extra step of validation, our team places re-screening calls to pre-qualified contacts to confirm core qualification criteria. 

Once the qualification criteria were confirmed, participants received a confirmation email with detailed instructions for the study. We also required a “yes” response to verify participants received the instructions and agreed to participate. 

Step #3. Participants Complete the Drink Testing

First, participants were asked to travel to a preselected store in their area and answer questions regarding shelf displays. 

Following their feedback on displays, we asked participants to purchase a specific product. 

Once in the comfort of their own home participants tasted the product and completed another short survey about their tasting experience. 

Finally, 6-weeks later, participants completed a final questionnaire gauging their purchase intent. 

Step #4. Follow-up Phone Calls, Emails, and Text Messages

We stay in constant contact with our participants to ensure their success in the study. 

To make sure they stayed on track, we checked in with our participants throughout the study with customized calls, texts, and emails. 

Learn more details of our qualitative recruiting services.

The Results of the Beverage Development Market Research

With there being a 6-week period in between parts 1 and 2 of this study, we planned for drop-offs. 

Our research firm over-recruited slightly to achieve a goal of 95 completes on the 6-week follow-up survey. 

By recruiting 104 participants for this study we ended with the final results: 

  • 102 participants completed the in-store survey and at-home taste test.
  • 95 participants completed the final 6-week follow-up survey.

We were able to meet our client's goal of 95 completes for the 6-week follow-up survey. 

Conduct Beverage Development Market Research with Our Team

Drive Research is a national market research company located in New York. We partner with brands across the country to execute food and beverage development market research studies.

Our end-to-end project management services include survey design, qualitative recruiting, interviewing, reporting, data visualization, and more.

To learn more about services contact our team today! 

  1. Message us on our website
  2. Email us at [email protected]
  3. Call us at 888-725-DATA
  4. Text us at 315-303-2040


Ashley Reynolds

With nearly 10 years of experience in market research, Ashley has worked on countless quantitative and qualitative research studies. As a Fieldwork Manager at Drive Research, she’s involved in every stage of the project, especially recruitment.

Learn more about Ashley, here.

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