Is there anything more fun than taste testing market research? The answer is clearly no. But let's look beyond the enjoyment for both the organization conducting as well as the participant tasting. In there lies a lot of value and insight in these tests.
The feedback received through a taste testing market research company offers the sponsor evidence and facts to guide go-to-market strategies, marketing efforts, and even ways to improve the taste and functionality of the product.
Fact is fact in retail. If your product does not taste good, it likely won't succeed. Unless you produce olives or wasabi. I personally, haven't figured that out yet.
There is a reason why taste testing market research is a popular form of research (both formally and informally). When it comes to taste, nothing can quite capture this feedback better than an in-the-moment survey or focus group.
Conducting this research live allows the interviewer or moderator to follow-up immediately on likes, dislikes, and product improvements. Creating a formal market research project around this can lend incredible depth and detail to assist with product development.
What are the Steps in Taste Testing Market Research?
Our taste testing market research company follows a structured process from start-to-finish. There are many steps involved in a project, but all follow a similar project flow to the order seen below. Working with a market research firm or expert in this space ensures your taste test project is run effectively and efficiently.
10 Steps in Taste Testing
① Proposal: defines objectives, scope, timeline, and costs.
② Kickoff: reviews expectations and planned usage for the results.
③ Workplan: highlights key project milestones, deliverables, and deadlines.
④ Location Choice: strategically picking markets and locations to hold taste tests.
⑤ Tester Recruit: determining who to recruit, how to recruit, and criteria.
⑥ Survey or Guide Design: constructing the questionnaire or guide for the evaluation.
⑦ Fieldwork: conducting the taste tests in one market or several markets.
⑧ Analysis: reviewing the data and feedback, running cross-tabulations by audience.
⑨ Reporting: summarizing feedback into digestible themes and action items (pun intended).
⑩ Debrief: reviewing the feedback in a meeting to dive deeper and answer questions.
Where Do You Find Taste Testing Participants?
This question refers to the taste tester recruit outlined above in Step 5. Recruiting taste testers is no easy task. Ultimately you can choose to do this on-the-spot (at a mall, event, or restaurant) but there is no guarantee your sample will reflect your intended population. There is also no guarantee on the number of respondents you will receive feedback from.
Another option is to pre-recruit testers to a location or focus group facility. This process guarantees a higher turn-out rate and ensures you will have credible and reliable feedback. By pre-screening respondents and sending them to a research facility, you can split respondents by key demographics based on responses from the recruitment questionnaire.
A third option is in-home usage testing (IHUTs). This is where a taste testing market research company send kits to households to allow the participants to taste test the product in a natural environment (kitchen, dining room, etc.) This is often a preferred option for any product that requires preparation.
Your organization can work with a taste testing company to recruit participants and obtain advice on which markets to choose and locations to host the market research. This will often save you time so you can truly focus on the objectives of the study and not have to worry about all of the planning and logistics involved.
Finding participants can often prove challenging unless you work with a recruitment firm or company who has experience with taste testing.
Where Do You Host the Taste Tests?
The location of the taste testing depends on a number of factors. First and foremost: budget. Do you have the budget to host the sessions in several locations across the country to obtain a comprehensive and representative sample size of your audience? Answering this will help guide you to a small scale or large scale project.
If budgets are tight, you may search for 1 market that matches the national demographics as a whole (e.g. Syracuse) or host locally and try to recruit participants that match the national demographics.
Just make sure you set up your project for success. Do not try to host taste testing market research in a market that does not have access to the type of participant or intended end-user you market to. There are a variety of locations you can host the sessions: focus group facilities, taste testing facilities, kitchens, hotel conference rooms, and event centers.
Contact Drive Research
Drive Research is a taste testing market research company located in Syracuse, NY. We work with clients across the country to assist with their market research needs and regularly host sessions in all areas of the U.S. We have access to both participants and facilities to manage all of your taste test project needs from start to finish.
Interested in discussing more? Contact us below.