Whether you’re a startup launching a new product or an established internal brand looking to improve your products, taste testing is a great way to gain critical insights and feedback from potential customers.
Not only can you gauge how well your product is likely to perform when compared to the competition, but you can also identify potential areas of improvement and get a sense of what your customers are really looking for.
Taste testing is a worthwhile research activity for several reasons. First, it allows you to get an early sense of how your product is likely to be received by customers.
If the response is positive, it can give you the confidence to move forward with production and marketing plans. If the response is negative, on the other hand, it can help you make necessary changes before investing too much time and money in a product that is unlikely to be successful. In either case, taste testing can save you a lot of time and money in the long run by helping you make informed decisions about your product development process.
Taste testing can also be useful for identifying potential areas of improvement for your existing product ranges. Even if customers are generally happy with your products, taste testing may uncover some areas where they would like to see improvements. This feedback can be invaluable for making small tweaks that can have a big impact on customer satisfaction.
So, what’s involved in taste testing?
The taste testing process can vary depending on the product and the company’s goals, but some key steps are generally followed. First, you’ll need to develop a list of criteria or attributes that you want to test for. This could include flavour, texture, aroma, and overall satisfaction.
Once you have your criteria, you’ll need to identify a target group of consumers who are likely to be interested in your product. Your taste testers could be people who regularly consume similar products or an entirely new group of potential customers.
After identifying your target group, you’ll need to arrange for a taste test, usually carried out with the help of a specialist consumer research company such as Wirral Sensory Services, who provide taste testers and taste test facilities.
During the taste test, panellists will be given a small sample of your product to try and will be asked to rate it against the criteria you’ve established. They may also be asked to provide feedback on their experience and whether they would recommend the product to others. These tests are usually “blind”, meaning that the panellists don’t know which product they’re tasting to prevent bias.
After the taste test is complete, research will collate and analyse the results before providing you with a report of their findings. This report will give you valuable insights into how your product performed and where there may be areas for improvement.
There are a number of ways in which taste testing can help your brand.
For instance, testing in this manner can help you to gauge consumer reaction to a new product before it hits the shelves, allowing you to make changes if necessary. Taste tests often reveal consumer preferences that you may not have anticipated, so it’s essential to be open to feedback and willing to make changes based on what you learn.
Taste testing can also help you to troubleshoot problems with existing products. If you’re noticing declining sales or customer satisfaction, a taste test can help you to pinpoint the issues and take steps to rectify them.
Finally, regular testing also allows you to keep tabs on the competition and ensure that your products are still the best in the market. If the results and analysis show that your product is no longer the preferred option, you can use this information to make changes and improve your offering.
At Wirral Sensory Services, not only are we trusted by some of the UK’s leading brands, but we’re also passionate about helping businesses to succeed. We offer a range of consumer services that can help you improve your products and stay ahead of the competition, including sensory profiling, packaging research, and of course, taste testing.
If you’re interested in finding out more about our services, or if you’d like to arrange a taste test for your product, don’t hesitate to get in touch. Our team of experienced researchers would be more than happy to discuss your needs and help you take your product to the next level.
A leading savoury pastry brand wanted to determine their position in the marketplace by assessing the performance of their core product lines against those of their main competitors. There was a range of products to assess and a large number of competitor products for comparison.
A series of central location taste tests was commissioned using 100 typical consumers to compare each of the brand’s products with those of their main competitors. To ensure fairness of the test, WSS sourced all products for testing from local stores to replicate the consumer experience as closely as possible. Additionally, coded plates were used to debrand the products and the order of presentation was rotated to ensure against brand bias and order effects.
The products were assessed against a number of key criteria designed to explore consumer liking of appearance, aroma, flavour and texture qualities, along with an overall score for each product.
A report was generated to show the performance of each of the client’s key product lines compared to those of their competitors. Significant differences between the products were highlighted at 95% confidence to clearly identify where the products differed in terms of consumer acceptance.
Based on the feedback from the research, we were able to demonstrate to our client the exact strengths and weaknesses of each of the products in the eyes of the target consumer. The client was then able to reformulate any products that fell short of expectation, to maximise consumer acceptance.