Mobile qualitative research recently helped Mondelez Canada determine the best placement for a new product in the healthy snack foods industry. Mondelez Canada is a division of Mondelez International, a $59.23 Billion leader in the snack food industry that owns brands like Ritz, Premium, Triscuit, Toblerone and more. What is mobile qualitative research and how did it help this market leader with their strategic introduction of a new product?

Mobile Qualitative Research

A New Entry in The Snack Food Industry

As reported in Quirk’s Marketing Research Review, the worldwide snack industry will exceed $380 Billion by 2017 and “the healthy snackers market has grown from 29 million to 41 million since 2004.” This combined with the knowledge that the average size of U.S. grocery stores is declining led Mondelez Canada to introduce “Potato Thins – a low-calorie, baked, potato-based “cracker chip” savory snack – in the U.S.” Was this strategic introduction of a new product the right decision? Mondelez Canada turned to mobile qualitative research for the answers.

The Mobile Quantitative Research Research

The fundamental goal of this particular mobile qualitative research project was to determine the best store placement for the new product. According to Rob McEvoy, shopper insights manager at Mondelez Canada, they had eight or nine potential target areas in mind, and they designed the research to choose the optimum location.

They chose a “digital qualitative platform” called Revelation Next, a highly interactive method that is based on social media which the target audience has enthusiastically embraced. They were most interested in the reasons why shoppers chose one location over another so the interactive nature of mobile devices was a perfect fit. As Rob said, “humans are notoriously bad at recalling what they did five minutes ago, let alone what they did on their last grocery run.” This is where a mobile qualitative research study can be indispensable.

Ground Truth

The research was based on a military concept called “ground truth,” where what is happening in real time on the ground has more value than other manners of intelligence gathering.

In military slang, “ground truth” describes the reality of a situation as opposed to what intelligence reports and mission plans assert that reality to be. In a research context, being on-location and in-person with consumers can be time-consuming and expensive, making it rare that researchers can truly establish ground truth. But smartphones and mobile qualitative research have changed that. We can now be there whenever and wherever key behaviors happen.

The Process – A “Snack Safari.”

The mobile qualitative research study was conducted over a “five-day period, involved over 1,000 interactions, collected over 700 images” and included real-time monitoring of results. Participants of this particular mobile qualitative research study were asked to take photos on their mobile devices as the went shopping for snacks. (They were not told what product was being researched until after they completed their safari).

Results from the safari determined that the best location was the cracker aisle because most healthy snackers tended to avoid that aisle, and the Potato Thins packaging stood out better in the cracker aisle.

To learn more about how mobile qualitative research can work for you, please contact us. We are New Perspectives, a Marketing, Consulting and Research firm that specializes in reducing risk for new product introductions.