The research study was carried out with the aim of determining the popularity of two new products. There are two prototype candies that Ferrara pan Candy Company has developed. One of the products is Cinnamon, and the other is the fruit-flavored chew. Unless market research is carried out, it may not be possible to know how the new products will perform. The main objective of the research study is to determine how new products compare with immediate competitors. The research study also aims at investigating the impact of potential retail purchase, packaging, sensory dimensions, and taste of the new products.
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The data collected met the objectives of the research study. To begin with, the empirical study managed to gather relevant data from tees and pre-teens regarding their overall taste and preferences of the new candy products in the market. Second, the research findings underscored the relative preference of the two new products against immediate competitors. It is prudent to mention that it was not just necessary to assess how the two products would compare themselves. It was equally prudent to understand how the new products would perform against other competitors. For example, 50 % of the participants indicated that they were ready to buy Lemonheads and Friends.
Another vital data obtained from the research study indicated that the packaging style of Lemonheads and Friends impressed most of the respondents. 44 % of the participants liked the packaging of Lemonheads and Friends, while the packaging of the competing brands (Ike and Mike) was liked by only 13 percent of the participants. On the same note, Atomic Fireballs was liked by 59 % of the participants who demonstrated the intention to purchase the product. The packaging style of Atomic Fireballs was liked by 75 percent of the participants. From the above information, it is clear that the data collected met the objectives of the quantitative research study.
The research study has been generally designed well. For instance, a screener has been used to filter the most appropriate participants in the research study. This part of the research sets the best ground for interviewing only the targeted individuals — the study aimed at obtaining the views of pre-teens and teens. Therefore, individuals less than 12 years or more than 19 years could not take part in the research study. Second, both quantitative and experimental research designs have been employed in the study with the aim of obtaining the most valid data from the market. Face-to-face interviews, coupled with screening tests, add a lot of value to the entire research. Hence, proper screening questions have been employed in the study. However, empirical research could have an integrated correlational research study section in order to compare and contrast the validity of the data obtained.
The objectives of the study were partially met by the quantitative approach. Quantitative knowledge is vital in this type of survey (Payne & Wansink, 2011). Although most of the findings could offer the required information from the market, the adopted approach failed to offer adequate raw data that could be analyzed and evaluated. For example, a number of options that were included in the questionnaire were quite general for the quantitative research study. Options such as “not sweet enough,” “just about right,” and “too sweet” can easily confuse participants.
It is pertinent to mention that such phrases may be difficult to interpret, especially for young participants who are still within the pre-teen and teenage years. Simple responses such as “yes” and “no” should have been used in the questionnaire in order to obtain straightforward responses. Hence, some participants may have guessed a number of answers due to the technicality of the terminologies used.
There are a number of qualitative aspects that were employed in the research design (Wilson & Natale, 2001). For instance, various flavors of the non-chocolate candies have been listed down in the questionnaire so that the participants can choose their favorite options. In addition, the research study has incorporated the product evaluation sections for both the fruit candy and Cinnamon Candy. Some of the areas tackled include taste/sensory evaluation and packaging preference.
The questionnaire also maps out the objectives as defined in the proposal. However, the procedures contained in the research proposal have not been fully followed. It was necessary to omit some sections of the research proposal procedures in order to streamline the contents of the questionnaire. Needles to say, the nature of questions contained in the questionnaire and the order followed to ask the same questions will generate the desired information. As already mentioned, the screening section of the questionnaire allows only the right respondents to take part in the quantitative study. Besides, the first section of the questions in the questionnaire attempts to assess the participants using actual numeric ratings, while the last section requires them to offer their genuine theoretical opinions regarding the products. The latter is an excellent order of questioning participants in a research study of this magnitude. The most important questions are asked first.
In order to generate the required information from the questionnaire, the designed survey should not be difficult to comprehend and complete (Heaton, 2006). Teens and pre-teens may not be in a position to fully understand statements such as “Very Likely,” “Somewhat Likely,” “Neither Likely nor Unlikely,” “Somewhat unlikely,” and “Very Unlikely”. The given questionnaire also lacks an introduction section. The objectives of the research study should be briefly explained in the introductory section. Moreover, closed questions should be incorporated in the questionnaire. These are questions that can be responded to with a single word or phrase.
Wording can be a major problem in the questionnaire. The following words can be replaced as shown:
|Words in the questionnaire||Proposed changes|
|Not Sweet Enough||Not sweet|
|Just About Right||Fairly sweet|
|Somewhat Likely||Can be omitted from the questionnaire|
|Neither Likely nor Unlikely||Not sure|
|Somewhat Unlikely||Can be omitted from the questionnaire|
The individual questions are designed well because there are no elements of bias or subjectivity. The same questions have been asked for both the Fruit Flavor candy and the Cinnamon candy. The structure of the questions is also the same. In other words, tsame questionnaires have been used to investigate both products. Nonetheless, the competing products in the market have been mentioned in the research findings even though they were not given any attention in the questionnaire.
The first section of the questionnaire scales permits the measurement necessary to meet the research objectives because responses from participants are measurable and can be easily computed after the data has been gathered. However, questions 11 and 12 in the questionnaire may not provide the direct measurements required to meet the broad objectives of the research. However, the interview contact method does not involve any known bias.
The type of sample employed was bipolar. 50 percent of the participants demonstrated willingness to buy Lemonheads and Friends while another 41 percent indicated that they were not willing to purchase the new product. The sample plan is not biased because only the teens and pre-teens were allowed to take part in the survey. Moreover, an equal number of both gender were represented in the survey, and a nationally representative sample of 200 consumers was employed in the quantitative approach. The sample is also logical for the product class bearing in mind that mostly teens and pre-teens tend to purchase the candy products.
Cross tabulations and t-tests were the statistical manipulations used to analyze the raw data. These methods are easy to use when analyzing market survey data that require comparisons. However, statistical analyses techniques such as SPSS, Stata and SAS can also be used (Gummesson, 2001). The analyses employed were equally appropriate for the research study. The tabs reflected the needs of the objectives because they originated from the questionnaire data.
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Finally, it can be concluded that the findings are valid and reliable because real empirical data was gathered from the market and analyzed quantitatively. The use of t-tests and cross tabulations also enhanced the reliability of the results. The conclusions are also related to the research findings. I fully agree with the conclusion remarks because they reflect the results of the survey. Better still, the recommendations offered have been drawn from the conclusions and can be viably used by Ferrara Pan Candy Company to boost sales of its new products (Chan, Lai & Liano, 2012).
Chan, K. C., Lai, P., & Liano, K. (2012). A threshold citation analysis in marketing research. European Journal of Marketing, 46(1), 134-156. Web.
Gummesson, E. (2001). Are current research approaches in marketing leading us astray? Marketing Theory, 1(1), 27-48. Web.
Heaton, L. (2006). Design research: Methods and perspectives. Canadian Journal of Communication, 31(2), 478-479. Web.
Payne, C. R., & Wansink, B. (2011). Quantitative Approaches to Consumer Field Research. Journal of Marketing Theory and Practice, 19(4), 377-389. Web.
Wilson, J. B., & Natale, S. M. (2001). ‘Quantitative’ and ‘qualitative’ research: An analysis. International Journal of Value – Based Management, 14(1), 1-10. Web.