Grilled sliced chicken breast on white background

Quorn meat-free product: understanding consumer appeal and consumption journey relative to chicken

For this project, we and Quorn Foods were nominated as finalists for the ‘Best Online Qual’ award at the 2023 Market Research Society (MRS) Operations ‘Oppie’ Awards.


Quorn wanted to explore the user experience and consumer appeal of chicken breast and meat-free alternative (meat-free fillet) to understand how to recreate the sensory properties of a chicken breast in a meat-free alternative. They also wanted to understand how consumers articulate the consumption journey from expectations through to the experiences of consuming a meat-free product alternative.

Campden Consumer Community uses real life, in the moment feedback to enable product developers to visualise how consumers interact with products and packaging throughout the consumer journey.

Using a range of tools, consumers can articulate the consumer journey from expectations of the user experience via collage, testing early-stage or fully developed concepts, through to visualising the entire user experience of unpacking and consuming the product, enabling clients to envision how products can be brought to life within consumers home environment.


Using flexitarian consumers, we conducted a 4-day online community to observe the consumption journey of a meat and meat-free product.

Using video recordings, participants captured their experiences of unboxing, preparing, cooking and eating each product, as well as the clean up process of each.

Using collage boards, abstract associations and pre-conceptions of consuming a meat-free product (meat-free fillet) were captured. On completion of a cook off task, participants re-evaluated the consumption experience using a collage board to articulate the consumption journey using abstract connotations.


The consumer appeal research identified points of celebration as well as areas for improvement for each product. The use of video reels brought to life the experiences of cooking and consuming the chicken breasts and meat-free product.

The collage boards enabled a clear understanding of the consumer expectations, perceptions and associations throughout their experience with the products. Changes in image associations, for example after eating the meat-free fillet versus before, provided key insights into areas where expectations and actual experience differed and where improvement was therefore needed. It also highlighted positive elements that consumers associated with the meat-free fillet either equally or more strongly than with the chicken breast, and instances where these positive associations with the meat-free fillet remained after its consumption.

Angela Kapparis, Consumer and Sensory Group Manager at Quorn Foods said,

The research enabled us to gain an in-depth view of the cooking experience throughout the consumer journey. We were able to unlock the product design to see what was good about our product and what we needed to work on. We knew that we were missing the mark with the texture and this research confirmed this. The video reels were really good at bringing to life the user experience and this has benefited both R&D and marketing so that we are now aligned on the next steps.

The Campden BRI difference

The food and drink industry presents a fast-paced, constantly changing environment that requires creative thinking, quick responses and cost-effective solutions to meet consumer demand. Whether you are developing a new product or optimising an existing one, success or failure of a product will ultimately depend on what consumers think of it, so it is essential to understand the consumer response in detail when embarking on a product innovation or product optimisation programme.

Campden Consumer Community uses real life, in the moment feedback to enable product developers to visualise how consumers interact with products and packaging throughout the consumer journey. If you are facing a challenge, where results from consumer research would help unlock the puzzle and present the way forward, then please contact the Consumer Insights team.

Our experts have wide range of quantitative and qualitative methods available to explore consumers expectations and experiences of meat alternatives. No matter what our client challenge may be, we consistently deliver innovative solutions, helping clients into a much better position to conquer their market.

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