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Testing Product with Consumers

Market Research comes in many different forms. There are valuable insights to gain from industry reports that are published by credible sources about market trends and consumer behaviors. Brand owners also benefit from market research that answers specific questions related to how the consumer views their products. Many founders start out by getting feedback from within their own network and early consumers. As companies grow it can be worthwhile to work with a market research firm to conduct consumer testing of their products on a larger scale.


There are market research companies who will work with the brand owner to understand their product, target consumer and the research goal. These companies will select product testers from their pool who fit the the target demographic to come to a set location to review products in a controlled environment. They have the expertise in the science of consumer product testing methods to structure the test, design questions, and report on results.


Research companies will design the test to answer prioritized questions.

For example:

  • feedback on key attributes like scent, colour, spice flavour, etc.

  • comparing to other products in the market

  • input on packaging formats, branding, line extensions

  • willingness to purchase at certain price points

The ideal number of panelists will be over 50 and the more panelists the more significant the results. This is not to be confused with a "focus group" which is typically under 10 people in a professionally guided discussion about the product, to give directional insights but in numbers too small to be statistically significant.


A few examples of firms that offer non-food and food product testing with consumers are:

NSF Canada:

Matrix Sciences:

SNI


Many food development centres offer this, look for the industry term: "Sensory Evaluation".

For example:

Food Innovation Research Studio FIRSt:

Niagara College Food and Bev Innovation Centre

(Reach out to Venturepark Labs team for more options)


Depending on the number of panelists, product preparation, questions, report detail the cost for these tests can be over $2,000/ session plus product supplied. While costly the results are valuable as they will inform the brand owner on product, packaging design improvements or can be shared when communicating with potential distributors, retailers or early stage investors.


Written By; Venturepark Labs Team

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