Simplified Food Concept Survey Techniques

Concept testing emerged out of the realities of both a lagging economy and a competitive market place. Due to limited product development and marketing budgets, there’s little room for experimentation and failure. Companies need to put their efforts behind products that are likely to resonate with audiences.


A concept test is a process through which a company takes several ideas and determines their viability. It looks at the merits of an idea or a prototype. Each concept survey typically elucidates an idea of what the product would be. The respondents are provided with more in-depth details about it, potentially a physical representation or visual representation of it, and an estimate price point. Several different concepts might be presented in order to determine a hierarchy of desirability.

Respondents are then asked to review and share their feedback on whether they would purchase this item, what other items that they might purchase instead, and perhaps some preliminary feedback on branding, and why the concepts appeal or don’t appeal to them. Analyzing the obtained data makes it easier for companies to extrapolate what’s going to work.

The major components of a concept survey include:

  • Overall Concept Reaction Measurement
  • Concept need / relative improvement over current process followed
  • Overall reaction to the concept (acceptability, desirability, interest)
  • Likelihood of purchase of concept

The detailed concept survey will help a food business operator to evaluate:

  • Likes and dislikes about the concept
  • Attribute list
  • Awareness of competing products
  • Awareness of substitute and complementing products
  • Superiority over other existing products

The detailed concept survey will include value analysis. This can be used to:

  • Estimate product value
  • Analyze Price sensitivity
  • Understand the preferred method of purchase

The detailed concept survey can also be used for segmentation analysis. With the help of this, a food business operator can identify the market segments that are most likely to use the product.

Also, a detailed concept survey can be specific to a situation in order to help the company to evaluate:

  • Likelihood of use in specified situations
  • Current use of similar / competing products
  • Frequency of product use

If you are an entrepreneur that is contemplating concept survey for the first time, you may be tempted to delay it or avoid it. It is natural to believe that you understand the consumers based on your interaction with them. But its essential to remember that developing a product or establishing a new business on a strong market foundation is the most impactful thing you can do. Hence it is advisable to invest in concept survey testing early in the process.