Shattering Preconceptions and Uncovering New Insights Through Conversation
Lycored, a natural food coloring company, wanted to understand how consumers thought about the color and vibrancy of the foods and candies that they ate. Within the industry, the rule of thumb has traditionally been “brighter” means “better.” The industry has spent years operating under the assumption that muted colors would not appeal to consumers.
Lycored wanted to put the assumption that “brighter” means “better” to the test. What better way to understand consumers’ perceptions than to have a conversation with them?
Lycored used Discuss.io to recruit moms and their kids around the United States for live video conversations. In advance of the conversations, Discuss.io sent samples of two different types of gummy bears (one with more vibrant, artificial dyes, the other with more muted, natural dyes) to the homes of the consumers to try and talk about on camera. Instead of traveling to watch these sessions in a central location, the participants joined from their homes, while the Lycored team observed from their home bases in Switzerland, Israel, and the USA.
The insights uncovered through conversations shattered commonly-held preconceptions of consumers’ perceptions about food coloring. Like the rest of the industry, many on the Lycored team had assumed that “brighter” meant “better.” The consumers that they talked to disagreed.
By having conversations, the team was able to uncover insights that they would have never known to ask for. For example, the team was shocked to learn how knowledgeable kids are about food coloring. And yet, their stance toward the dye was straight-forward, “candy is candy,” one child put simply. They don’t care if it’s less bright, if it tastes good. But their moms do.
To moms, more muted colors signaled that the food was “healthier” because they were made with natural dyes, not artificial dyes with names that they could not pronounce. Similarly, moms mentioned that they often associated brightly-colored foods with having more sugar. Uncovering nuance in the perception of dyes allowed the team to incorporate more tailored messaging in their products.
Having their preconceptions shattered themselves, Lycored is eager to share their findings from this study in journals and at an important confectionary industry event.
“Going into these conversations, we thought we knew how consumers thought about our product. Our preconceptions were quickly shattered. Much to our shock, consumers (moms, and even kids!) were extremely educated and had strong opinions in the topic area.
We frequently rewatched and shared the sessions widely across our team. The insights that we gathered through our conversations influenced not only our messaging, but also our clout in the industry.
Discuss.io made it extremely easy for us to connect with our consumers. We were pleased with the quality of the recruits. We were shocked to learn how informed they were and, because we watched the sessions as they happened live, we were able to probe for deeper insights in the moment. From across the world, we were able to connect with consumers in their homes and even have them do an at-home taste test, without having to deal with any of the logistics or timing of hosting sessions in a central location.” – Christiane Lipper
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