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Consumer Testing

Now that you have your finalised product you are ready to test the market. One of the best ways to test the market is to solicit feedback from your ta
© International Culinary Studio

Now that you have your finalised product you are ready to test the market. One of the best ways to test the market is to solicit feedback from your target market.

To do this, you need to know who your target market for your product is:

  • Age and gender
  • Income level
  • Ethnicity
  • How and where they buy
  • Commonalities, for example business background or profession, family situation.

You may have more than one target market, this means that your market is segmented, you should then be able to describe each of your target segment consumers of your product.

Activity 1

Do an exercise to identify your target consumers. Once you have completed the exercise, explain the general characteristics of each group.

Here is an example of a target group of customers for a company that sells ready-made meals that are ordered weekly online and delivered:

Target Group 1

  • Women
  • Single, couples or have children
  • Professional
  • Need to capitalise on saving time shopping and preparing food
  • Have a decent amount of disposable income to afford to buy ready prepared meals.
  • Shop online
  • Belong to local social media community groups
  • Live in the locality
  • Sustainable products are important to them
  • 5% prefer to eat plant-based meals at least 3 times a week

Now consider where you will find these consumers locally?

Activity 2

Make a list of how you would reach these consumers.

Using our example above, we have said that the best way to reach these consumers would be:

Target Group 1

  • Social media groups such as Facebook and Instagram
  • Stall at a local market
  • Partnership with other online products complimentary to mine e.g., wine partner
  • Via local schools’ newsletters

Decide how you are going to test your product on the consumer

With your prototype ready you need to test to see if it will work in the marketplace.

You can do this by producing your prototype and:

  • Conduct focus groups with potential consumers to find out how your customers/target market react to the product?
  • Test the product and packaging in typical usage situations.
  • Ask several prospective customers what they think.
  • Provide free samples and ask for feedback.
  • Ask staff for constructive comments.
  • Produce an initial run of the product and sell it to a test market.

Questions for your target group

Here are some questions that you could ask for in your product feedback:

  • What do you think about the appearance of the actual product?
  • If you have children, what did they like / dislike about the product?
  • What do you think about the taste / flavour of the product?
  • Are you satisfied about the portion of the product?
  • How often would you purchase the product and why?
  • What is your overall assessment of the product?
  • Would you choose this product over the product you most frequently purchase?

Activity 3

Develop a consumer survey with questions and invite some of your target market that you have identified in the activity above and hold a focus group to taste test and get feedback on your product.

Review and optimize

Once you have the feedback from your market, take the information that you have gathered that you consider to be important and made any last-minute adjustments where necessary. You now need to:

  • Finalise your product.
  • Finalise your recipe.
  • Set the final price.
  • Set written guidelines and standards for production.
  • Find reliable suppliers if applicable.
© International Culinary Studio
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How to Launch Your Own Food Product

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