How to Identify Purchasing Factors for Condiments Among Consumers

different condiments and seasonings on spoons

What key factors motivate a consumer to purchase one product over another?

With 57% of people buying a new product during their most recent supermarket run, it's an important question to answer. 

By using market research, brands can gather actionable data as to why consumers purchase the items they do. 

For instance, a major food manufacturer and distributor contacted our market research company to learn what purchasing factors impacted consumers' choice in condiments.

Below, we outline a 2-part research project our team conducted with targeted consumers to answer this question.

Study Overview

The food product development study consisted of two parts. It consisted of both virtual and in-person components.

Part 1: 40 participants were asked to complete two diaries through an online diary platform. 

  • In-home diary: participants were asked to upload a photo of the condiments in their home, and explain what they use it for. 
  • In-store diary: participants traveled to a pre-assigned store and were asked to record a video while giving their feedback over the aisle, products, and displays in the condiment aisle. 
  • Each participant received $50 through PayPal for completing the two online diaries. 
  • The total time commitment for part 1 was approximately 30-minutes. 

Part 2: 20 in-person interviews at the client’s facility.

  • Some participants from part 1 were selected to take part in the in-person interviews.
  • Each in-person interview lasted a total of 60-minutes. 
  • Each participant received a $150 gift card as a thank you for their time and feedback at the end of the completed research interview. 

💡 The Key Takeaway: To identify purchasing factors for condiments among consumers, Drive Research recommended a two-tiered study. Part 1 required participants to take a photo of the condiments they had at home and then create a video giving in-store feedback. Part 2 was made up of detailed hour-long interviews.

Target Audience

Before we can formally kickoff recruitment, our market research company that specializes in food and beverage product development, need to understand the target audience. 

For this F&B market research project, we utilized a client-written screening questionnaire. 

In order to participate in this project, qualified individuals:

  • Live in the region of the in-person interviews 
  • At least share responsibility for grocery shopping in their household 
  • Have purchased qualified items in the past 6 months 
  • Regularly shop at a qualified retailer 
  • Purchase qualified items at least 4 times a month 
  • Are not motivated by price only when purchasing items
  • Are able to freely and articulately share their opinions. 
  • Are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 

To ensure we hear from a diverse group of individuals, our qualitative recruiting company also sourced a mix of demographics.

A mix of the following demographics was collected:

  • Age
  • Gender 
  • Ethnicity
  • Household income 
  • Household size 
  • Households with and without children 

💡 The Key Takeaway: With consumers spending 11% more time in US retailers last year, it’s safe to assume that number will continue to rise. Our project centered around consumers traveling to grocery stores to purchase items. . 

Finding Consumers Who Use Condiments

After programming the recruitment screener, our team utilized targeted social media ads to reach our target audience. 

The pre-screening questionnaire allowed us to quickly hand-select the best participants to be recruited for the research from a large pool of pre-qualified participants. 

Additionally, in order to participate, each contact completed a re-screening phone call to confirm core qualification criteria. 

Part 1: At-home and in-store diaries

Like with any market research project, especially those with in-person requirements, there may be drop-off. 

By utilizing a pre-screening screening questionnaire, our firm has a large pool of qualified individuals to choose from to make replacements, if needed. 

When drop-off was observed, our firm acted swiftly and recruited 9 additional participants to guarantee a large pool of completes to choose the in-person interviews from. 

In total, we recruited 49 participants for 39 completed diaries. 

Part 2: In-person interviews

Once the mobile diaries were completed, we moved into part 2 of the research. 

In order to cover any potential drop-off, our client hand-picked 26 participants eligible to participate in 24 pre-assigned interview times for part 2. 

Drive Research successfully scheduled all 24 pre-assigned interview times with the remaining 2 participants on backup status in the case of unpredicted drop-off. 

The in-person interviews were conducted over a 3-day period in early February. 

Participants were required to complete a non-disclosure agreement through our online signature platform. This agreement states that participants agree to keep all information related to the project confidential. 

To ensure safety, all consumers were required to show proof of vaccination against COVID-19 in order to participate. Each participant was also asked to stay masked throughout the interview.

Interviews were completed in a large room with only the moderator present. The room was fully sanitized in between each interview. 

Due to our high show rate, our client requested we cancel the final interview. 

In total, 22 out of the 23 participants were interviewed - a 95% show rate! 

💡 The Key Takeaway: Our market research case study example displays how we segmented our project into two key parts. Each part of the project resulted in high completion and show rates.

More About Our Recruitment Process

Some clients mention a 30% (or less!) show rate with other qualitative research firms.

Our firm frequently completes studies with a 90%-100% show rate. So what makes us different? 

#1: Our systematic recruiting process

Our firm uses an initial pre-screening questionnaire, followed by a re-screening phone call to make sure participants are fully qualified, engaged, and able to share their feedback. 

#2: Our personal touch 

Each participant is provided with a single point of contact to reach out to if they have any questions. Participants can reach their point of contact through email, text, or phone calls–whichever is the most convenient for them. 

#3: Our confirmations and reminders 

A big factoring in improving show rates for qualitative research is communication.

Following the completed re-screening phone call, our confirmation process begins: 

  • We first send a confirmation email with a required yes response.
  • Complete a reminder phone call the night before with a live response 
  • Send reminder texts the day of 
  • Overall, we stay in constant communication with our participants in case any issues or questions come up. 

Looking for more qualitative recruiting tips? Check out our video. Or, read our Ultimate Guide to Recruiting Participants for Qualitative Research.

💡 The Key Takeaway: We use a streamlined yet effective process in our market research methods to ensure we get high show rates. After a rigorous screening process, participants are given a point of contact which is followed by multiple reminders. 

Conduct Food Product Development with Drive Research

Located in New York, Drive Research is a national market research company and is ready to partner with your company. Our team of dedicated experts will work with you to create the best possible study for your brand. 

Want to know which factors motivate consumers to purchase your product over another?

Use the information below to contact us, and take a look at our complete lineup of market research services. 

  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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