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Case Study: Central Location and At-Home Taste Testing for New Product Development

Case Study: Central Location and At-Home Taste Testing for New Product Development

Decision Point had the unique opportunity to assist a client in conducting extensive taste tests for a range of new food products. From spicy condiments and sweet confectionaries to fresh local produce, the goal was to garner authentic feedback from a select group of participants, ensuring the products were market ready. The project presented a dual challenge, as the client required both on-site testing at our central Toronto location and at-home testing for participants.

The Situation

Our client wanted to complete testing of their new products, ranging from condiments, spices, and confectionaries to local produce like fruits and vegetables. The objective was to gain insightful feedback and opinions from a select subset of the general population to ensure product viability and acceptance in the market.

The client wished to perform taste testing on-site, but also provide taste tests at respondents’ homes.

Challenges Faced

Our team was prepared to complete central location testing for this client, but testing of this type raises a few challenges based on the clients’ needs.

  • Geographical Restrictions: As our location is Toronto-based, we had a defined radius to gather participants from, which could limit the diversity of participant feedback.
  • Participant Selection: Any potential participants who had food allergies or dietary restrictions were excluded from the testing.
  • Maintaining Confidentiality: Given that the products were in their pre-launch phase, ensuring all participants adhered to the non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) was crucial for project confidentiality.
  • At-Home Testing: Taste testing at a respondent’s home means that products must be shipped to respondents, along with guidelines on a set pattern for testing. This adds further complications to the taste testing process.

Our Solutions

As an expert in central location testing, Decision Point addresses these challenges head-on with our comprehensive facilities and expert services.

  • Well-Equipped Facilities: Our facilities are equipped with a full kitchen including major appliances like a refrigerator, freezer, oven, stove, etc. for any products that needed to be cooked, heated, or frozen before serving.
  • On-Site Staff: Our highly trained staff members were on site to handle research and provide individual cubicles for respondents to take surveys and participate in focus groups and discussions addressing the taste testing.
  • Diverse Database: Thanks to our large and diverse database, we were able to gather participants locally to meet the background the client was looking for. We were also able to reach out to distant demographics with the in-home testing option.
  • Product Rotation: As many products were available in different flavours, our staff trained to manage appropriate product rotations, ensuring consistency and accuracy in testing.
  • Logistical Support for In-Home Testing: For the segments of the project that required in-home testing, we provided thorough support. Our team managed everything including product sorting, labelling, packaging, shipment, delivery, and product return. We ensured participants had information to complete the tests in a similar pattern and facilitated the online survey after taste testing to gather information.


 Our client was extremely satisfied with the quality of participants collected, the depth of feedback received, and the overall execution of the taste tests.

We achieved show rates between 85-90%, demonstrating our ability to effectively engage and retain participants.

The success of this project has led the client to consider Decision Point for future product testing needs, solidifying our reputation as a trusted partner in central location testing.

If you’re looking for a partner in obtaining accurate, reliable, and insightful central location testing, contact Decision Point Research. Our team is ready to support your next project with our comprehensive data collection!

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