Conducting food & drinks research whilst consumers are at home


Working from home has led to new patterns in consumer behaviour. During the past few weeks, we are seeing a dramatic rise in Ireland in snacking from home, an increase in home cooking, coupled with an increased demand for dry storage products such as beans, cans and pulses. In many ways, the consumer, based largely at home, has become more focussed on their food, planning and eating it with a new intensity.
Home User Testing (HUT) is one method of research which allows marketers to continue to carry out their research programme and take advantage of the increased level of consumer immersion and focus. This is a type of market research where products are provided to consumers to use in their homes, as they would ordinarily use them. For many products, HUT’s provide a more realistic context for assessment.
Participants can spend more time assessing the products, are also more comfortable in their own environment, meaning that data captured is based on a more realistic consumer experience.
Consumer terminology to describe sensory properties, which may be used for marketing purposes, can be compiled from home use tests.
Most HUT tests require an extended amount of time to allow the product to be completely consumed, or at least used over a normal usage cycle. Valuable data on consumer interaction with the product eg. attitudes, behaviours, reactions, in a real life context, is then obtained.
The most common reason for this type of research is to gain real life feedback from consumers. This feedback is useful for the development of a prototype or a more developed product or indeed a new version of an existing product. Surveys or interviews can also be conducted after the in-home test to give greater depth to the research. Insights and comments from users can help provide messaging and communications angles for advertising and marketing purposes.
It can be a very cost effective way of research as it does not involve the use of test research lab facilities in the process and participants do not need to travel. More importantly it is giving feedback within a real live setting which is a more natural and realistic environment for product consumption.

Innovate Solutions is continuing to provide research programmes to brands during Covid19. This includes Home User Testing, online surveys, online interviews and focus groups.

Innovate Solutions help food & beverage companies & retailers in Ireland to grow their sales and profitability. Our range of sensory product testing and research services deliver an view of consumer taste and preference.

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