Lynn Dornblaser
Lynn is the Director of Innovation & Insight at Mintel. Lynn applies her unique perspective on the market and new product development to tailored client research.

Mintel’s team of expert food and drink, food science and product innovation analysts were at IFT, June 3-5. If you were not able to make it to the show, we’ve got you covered!

At IFT, Mintel Director of Innovation and Insights, Lynn Dornblaser hosted a presentation, “Sugar and “added sugar” labelling: What consumers say.” Throughout the day, IFT attendees (aka industry experts) were asked to vote on products for the following criteria: Purchase intent, tasty, healthy, good value and premium. The results were then revealed comparing what the experts thought to what consumers said.

First, let’s see who the participants were. Mintel Purchase Intelligence data is balanced to the US population for key demographics, including gender. Consumers can choose as many descriptors as they think apply to them.

Let’s check out the results!

Now let’s see how IFT attendees compared to the average US consumers!

Bolthouse Farms Lower Sugar Strawberry Banana Fruit Juice Smoothie. The restaged product now promotes “lower sugar” on the front of the pack and has 26g sugar per bottle, but no added sugar.

The results: While IFT attendees identified ‘tasty’ as one the product’s driving attributes, consumers and industry experts were close on the smoothie’s purchase intent, premium and whether it was a good value. Entire category purchase intent: 32%

 

Think Thin Protein & Fiber Hot Oatmeal. Vegan, wholegrain, high protein hot cereal—just add water and eat from the cup. Each cup has 8g added sugar.

The results: Consumers and IFT attendees agreed the on-the-go oatmeal products was healthy, but differed wildly with categories such as purchase intent, good value and premium. Entire category purchase intent: 40%

What we think

As you can see, the results between consumers and industry experts varied, and some by a large margin! It’s important to realize that there are many variables that go into results. The sample size that we had at IFT is much smaller compared to the data pool that Mintel Purchase Intelligence uses.

However, one of the takeaways of this experiment is industry experts can see things differently than consumers. When a consumer walks into their grocery store they are not looking at what food is trending, nor do they have data that shows what new product launches fit their wants and needs. A consumer is looking at taste, healthiness, price, brand, etc. Those factors can also vary depending on the type of store the consumer enters.

This leads back to why Mintel created Purchase Intelligence, combining Mintel’s product intelligence and consumer research, creating a unique picture of how to succeed when developing, launching and selling new products. Going beyond purchase intent, with data and insight on key attributes, creates an understanding of who the consumer is and what they care about, resulting in brands making better informed decisions for their products’ success.