Why consumer testing food products and ideas is key

29 May 2024

No matter how good your product idea seems, there’s no substitute for finding out what real consumers think about it. Whether you’re a startup or an established brand, ensuring you have a product that resonates with consumers is vital. Consumer testing food products and ideas is crucial to your product development journey, yet it’s often overlooked. So, how do you get feedback from the types of people you want to sell to?

When developing a product, the product itself and the consumer are two critical components. Direct and detailed feedback is essential whether you’re creating an innovative new product, extending your range, or adapting existing recipes to emerging consumer needs and trends. It can answer questions such as “Will people understand and value my USP?” and “How do my target consumers feel about this format?” Taking time to understand what your consumers are looking for, rather than developing a product in isolation, is crucial. If you don’t get it right, your product might not succeed.

Why consumer testing food products is vital

Gathering a broad range of feedback to build and define your proposition is powerful, ensuring you have a product that can thrive in the market. It helps replace guesswork with data-driven decisions, putting the customer’s needs front and centre. Getting feedback and building evidence before taking your product to market can make the difference between having conversations with supermarket buyers and securing listings.

At Froghop, we operate in three stages: defining your concept, product development, and scaling up and launching. At the end of stage one, where we examine opportunity and route to market, we recommend running concept testing to ensure we deliver the right product for consumers.

The process of concept testing

Concept testing involves various methods, from focus groups to questionnaires. We use an online system to obtain targeted and robust consumer data quickly and effectively. Through this, we can reach over 5,000 consumers, segmented based on factors like age, location, shopping habits, and dietary preferences. This means we’re engaging with the right consumers for your product. Areas of feedback can include flavours, formats, branding, pricing, and packaging.

Suppose you’re introducing a new cereal bar or drink, for example. In that case, concept testing helps determine consumer preferences for formats like multipacks or single flavours and packaging like pack type or sustainability considerations.

Five key reasons why consumer testing products and ideas is crucial

  1. Understanding consumer preference: Identify the right preferences to take forward in your product development.
  2. Product optimisation: Fine-tune your recipes to their best possible versions.
  3. Confidently strengthen your proposition: Avoid developing in isolation by engaging with end-users and understanding their needs.
  4. Understanding your market levers: Gain insights into what will make consumers choose your product.
  5. Maximise your success within the market. All of this feeds into how well your product performs and sustains its success in a competitive market.

How Froghop can help

Our projects incorporate consumer insight to set you up for success. We help you gain valuable insights quickly and make informed decisions at every stage of development. We use an online platform that quickly allows us to send questions to highly targeted consumers. We can gather responses and feedback – and even ‘vox pop’ video clips – from consumers, providing rich, actionable insights.

The concept testing process

  1. Type of test: Preference tests (e.g., flavour profiles) or acceptability tests (comparing your product with benchmarks).
  2. Setting criteria: Establishing attributes to test, such as appearance, flavour, and texture.
  3. Identifying target consumers: Engaging those most likely interested in your product.
  4. Blind taste tests: Conducting unbiased taste tests with your target panel.
  5. Analysis and reporting: Analysing results and providing recommendations.
  6. Readiness for scale-up: Assessing the critical question – is your product ready for launch?

At Froghop, we help you gather valuable feedback on key ingredients, nutritional profiles, pricing, and more, saving you time and money before investing in production runs.

To learn more about how consumer insight can set your food brand up for success, watch the webinar or book a Discovery Call.

Consumer testing food products and ideas - Froghop Webinar