When bringing a food product to market, there are a whole host of product testing methods you could undertake before reaching the launch stage. But which ones are the most important and therefore used the most?
In this post, we’ll take a look at the product testing methods you are most likely to use on your new or reformulated food product.
Taste testing is by far the most popular food product testing method. It involves a group of your target demographic being asked to rate the taste of a new food product either in solitude or in direct comparison to competitor products. Those surveyed will rate your product (and others if necessary) based on a number of criteria, revealing how your product stacks up against the competition.
While this method does suffer from a certain degree of subjectivity (you are asking for opinions after all), these tests take place in controlled settings and give researchers a chance to record non-verbal feedback in addition to the scores given by participants. This method is vital for understanding the consumer acceptance levels of your food product.
Sensory profiling is different from taste testing because it’s carried out by trained experts rather than members of the public. These panellists use their superior skills to objectively outline the sensory profile of a specific food product, allowing them to pinpoint each aspect of its taste to the last molecule.
The end goal of this method is similar to that of taste testing, evaluating the food product’s flavour, texture, appearance, aroma, etc. However, the findings are more objective as they are delivered using expert taste testers who can objectively detect specific characteristics rather than give their subjective opinion.
You may be surprised to learn that packaging can be even more vital to your food product’s success than taste. That’s why you see so many adverts for brands with a lower market share using blind taste tests to demonstrate their product is better than the market leader.
The problem is, it doesn’t matter that their product objectively tastes better. Customers are still preferring another brand. The reason? Better branding and packaging.
Thus, packaging research is crucial to your food product(s) success. By using methods such as focus group studies to understand what type of packaging elements consumers prefer, you can give your product the best chance of success when it hits shelves.
Product testing is a vital stage of the product development phase. Without accurate and reliable testing, you will have no idea whether your product has what it takes to secure a winning market share.
At WSS, we have been carrying out all forms of food, beverage, and household product testing since 1997. We have relationships with some of the world’s leading brands and manufacturers, and our product testing services are widely-regarding as industry-leading.
So whether you need to invest in taste testing or packaging research, contact us today for more information on how we can help you develop marketing-leading consumer products.