Product Benchmarking

Benchmarking seems to be the 'in' thing!

By Janetta Hylands - 18 December 2012

During the past year, interest in our benchmarking services – either with our "expert in-house panel" or using respondents from our consumer data base – has gone wild. It seems that understanding what drives consumers to purchase and to repeat that purchase is vital to our retail and manufacturing clients, not only during development, but also while quality checking and keeping an eye on the competition.

Many factors contribute to the success – or otherwise – of a new product. But there is no doubt that product quality, appropriate to the consumer's expectations, is one of these. Product benchmarking – completing a sensory evaluation of a selected product compared to similar competing products - is a vital part of achieving this success.

This year we have eaten some really innovate, high quality foods, along with some superb quality lines from the discounters, who are definitely the ones to look out for over the next 12 months. Overall, we have tested around 6,000 samples, taken images of all of them and written thousands of reports. This festive season we have munched our way through 250 different Christmas Cakes, puddings and mince pies!

We predicted a rise in demand for benchmarking services in February 2011, but the increase has been even greater than we expected. The service has definitely moved from a "nice to do" to a "must do" process for retailers and manufacturers. Product development is a costly exercise and we can offer several cost effective methods to avoid wasting money during development, and in particular keeping an eye on the competition.

If you want to find out more about product benchmarking, explore what it can offer your business or discuss the potential of the eye-tracking technology, please feel free to give me a call. You can also listen to our podcast and browse our web pages on marketplace knowledge.

Campden BRI's Product development guideline provides best practice in the development of new food and drink products.

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