As to whether consumers are in the right frame of mind to try new products at home during such a difficult and stressful time, you’d be surprised, she told FoodNavigator-USA. “When you have millions of unemployed [and stuck at home], it is an additional source of income that comes into their homes.
In reality, “Consumers are dying to talk right now”, added Keren Novak, vice president of sensory and consumer insight at Curion, in a recent online seminar. “People are looking for an outlet, a way to make their voice heard and to share their opinion.
“We’re seeing a lot of consumer participation and early engagement right now, because quite frankly a lot of people don’t have a lot to do right now and they’re happy to share their thoughts.”
Curionhas a variety of established tools for remote testing, including:
- Identify and recruit consumers online and understand how they engage and respond to products in real life, at home, across video log recordings.
- In home use tests combined with follow-up interviews and / or video logs and virtual discussion groups.
- Online surveys.
- Panels of descriptive experts and discriminationwhere a Curion moderator collects responses from panelists who receive and return products by mail / courier through an online videoconferencing platform.
- Home use tests(HUT) where products are mailed to consumers who complete online product review surveys.
“Online surveys are the key to our success right now“Manos told FoodNavigator-USA.
That said, nothing is as effective as bringing consumers into a real (not virtual) room, following them to a supermarket, or talking to them at home, she said. “Those [digital] the tools provide really precise information, but we are not saying that digital will replace everything in the longer term.
“If I send a video diary or a report [back to a researcher], and I don’t like what I just said, I’m going to go back and re-record it, and did I miss a preview or two, or a bit of feedback [that the researcher would have picked up on during a face to face interaction]. “
Consumer information is especially important to CPG businesses at this time
When asked how Curion’s CPG clients view innovation right now, she said: “Many [innovation] budgets are frozen, but businesses are also planning what will happen after COVID-19. “
They are also very interested in how consumer behavior is changing during this crisis, and whether the behaviors and attitudes developed during this period of forced lockdown will impact their behavior in the longer term, she said, making particularly valuable consumer information at this time.
“I think 100% that new products will come out of it. I think the concept of family around the table will become more important. ”
And while consumers might be more worried about paying rent than saving the planet right now, this period of forced lockdown has made many consumers think a lot more about things like food and packaging waste, and to become more thoughtful and attentive to their purchases, she said.
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