Assessing fresh pasta concepts for the US market
We helped a multinational FMCG company optimize two new product ideas for an existing pasta brand.
Our client was considering adding two extensions to an existing line of fresh pasta products in the US market. It wanted to understand the key consumer drivers and barriers around these potential concepts in order to define and shape the future brand portfolio. The company asked us to assess consumer reaction to the concepts and offer guidance to optimize the offerings.
We used our early-stage screening and testing methodology to determine which concept had the most emotional resonance for consumers. We introduced the new concepts and a control concept to customers and asked them to tell us what they thought about the ideas in natural conversational speech. We analyzed their voice recordings to appraise their emotional response (how they spoke about concepts) as well as what they said. To provide a link to historical product performance, we paired this research with traditional key performance indicators such as purchase intent, price value, uniqueness and solving a problem for consumers. We tested each concept with around 300 respondents – males and females aged 18 to 64 who were principal grocery shoppers in their households and aware of fresh pasta brands. Because of the similarity of the product ideas, we tested only one with each respondent.
Our study found that while both product line extensions were promising, one stood out as a compelling offering with a higher level of consumer engagement. We recommended the food and beverage company move ahead with that offering first. From our analysis of customers’ open-ended commentary, we suggested ways our client could enhance advertising communication, tweak product formulations and refine package information. The company is currently developing the concept into a commercial product. We also suggested ways the client could improve variety, pricing and size for the second concept to enhance its appeal.