Create: Ambient Foods

Our client came to us with a busy and varied innovation pipeline planned, looking for help to ensure they would be able to maximize consumer insight across all projects in an effective manner.

Working at different stages across a number of innovation projects, they needed a flexible approach which would take this into account - and they were keen to work with MMR, due to our ability to provide detailed guidance to both R&D and marketing at an early stage of product development.

Approach

We worked closely with the client to fully understand their needs, and concluded that setting up an EROS Explorer panel for them would be an ideal solution.  

Our EROS™ approach uses articulate and engaged consumers with high levels of sensory acuity to uncover the 'early rules of success', ensuring focused product development and creation of products which are perfectly aligned with brand / product promise and consumer expectations. By recruiting and managing a panel of these ‘super consumers’, we have given our client access to a pool of consumers who can be regularly contacted to take part in individual sessions across their innovation pipeline.  This provides an extremely time and cost effective approach with no compromises in terms of the quality of insight gleaned.

Several sessions have been completed since panel set-up – each with different objectives to reflect the different innovation streams, including:  

  • To build on quantitative benchmarking to understand why an existing product performed worse than an own label competitor – gaining detailed feedback for R&D on how the product could be optimized whilst remaining true to brand
  • Early stage consumer input into the ideal product delivery to match concepts identified as showing potential with detailed guidance as to the optimal product delivery
  • Understanding consumer appeal of new product concepts, and exploration into the sensory characteristics which should / shouldn’t be present (including impact of different sensory attributes on emotional and functional associations with the product)
  • Early feedback on the optimal route for product for a planned launch into a new category for the client covering fit to concept, appeal, optimization guidance plus covering packaging expectations and preferences

We’re looking forward to forthcoming sessions planned for the next few months.

We select consumers from our specially recruited Explorer panel to take part in each session – ensuring enough research dips per person to keep them highly engaged in the process without over working any individuals.  

Outcome

Our client has found this approach invaluable in terms of ensuring consumer input can direct product development across their large portfolio of products, and access to a dedicated panel has enabled them to build research earlier into the process despite limited budgets.  This has ensured that R&D and marketing are perfectly aligned right from the start and has led to quicker lead times for innovation.


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