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    International Consumer Product Testing Across Cultures and Countries: United States

    Published: May 2007

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    All comments regarding the United States consumer and culture will be representative of a range of customs, habits, and underlying implicit values for the culture. This document is being written for use with all consumer products.

    To conduct successful quantitative and qualitative consumer research in the United States, you must know your test objective, who you want to survey, length of the interview, and testing requirements. Initially, a proposal should be submitted to several research vendors for costing and timing projections. The preliminary vendor proposal should include seven main items-screening requirements, test type and design, length of interview, incidence, list of test cities, product storage requirements, questionnaire details, facility and timing requirements, and services required.

    Knowing what services each vendor provides will help manage time and money when preparing for consumer research. There are three types of research vendors-field services only, consumer-testing facilities that outsource the field, and full-service consumer testing facilities with field services.

    The screening requirements are essential for recruiting the right consumer to test the product. The more specific the screening requirements, the lower the incidence (% out of 100 contacted who qualify). For example, at a 10 % incidence, it will take five times longer to recruit qualified respondents than at a 50 % incidence and would also cost proportionally more. This time difference must be accounted for when determining the project timing and ultimate cost of the project.

    The type of test and test design will vary depending on your test objective and monetary funds available. Prerecruiting respondents over the telephone to participate in a CLT is more expensive than a mall recruit.

    The incentive or amount a person is paid for participating is typically dependent on the length of the interview and the incidence of finding a qualified respondent. The longer the interview and the lower the incidence the more the project will cost.

    It is important that for national introductions, products are tested in the northeast, midwest, south and west to cover any regional preferences that may occur. Both the northeast and west tend to have higher testing costs than either the midwest or south.

    Author Information:

    Karow, Sheryl
    Kerry Ingredients, Beloit, WI

    Klawien, Bree
    Cunningham Research Group, Inc., Ormond Beach, FL

    Lessard, Leisa
    Cunningham Research Group, Inc., Ormond Beach, FL

    Committee/Subcommittee: E18.08

    DOI: 10.1520/MNL11118M