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Consumer-centric Concept Innovation

Work Package 3: Consumer-centric Concept Innovation - Concept Generation/ Prototype testing


Lead Partner: Dr Amalia Scannell, University College Dublin
Collaborating Partner: Dr Richard Bracken, Swansea University


This project seeks to understand consumer purchasing behaviour and identify consumer needs (particularly any unmet needs) with respect to the identification of novel oat -based product. By incorporating targeted consumers’ recommendations to finalise formulations it should lead to increased consumer acceptability and probability of success of the final products. This WP will be undertaken in four tasks that reflect the proposed systematic interactions between The Consumer, the stakeholder advisory group and product outputs from this project.


Specific tasks

Task 3.1 Desk study

A desk study will ascertain the current consumer trends regarding consumer purchasing behaviours, and drivers for consumer choice. This research will be undertaken using a range of market research resources e.g. Mintel/ Kantar, as well as market information obtained directly from our stakeholder advisory group. The aim of this task is to disseminate to research group the consumer trend report by Month 6-9.


Task 3.2 Consumer expectation

After consultation with Decision Support the next direct consumer studies will involve the identification of consumer expectation and needs (including nutritive, health, development needs etc) regarding oat-based products. This will be done qualitatively using a series of focus groups in Ireland and Wales, demographically balanced to represent the demographic make-up of the country, based on the most recent information from the central statistics office. This study should identify optimal concepts for further development in three proposed platform categories A: Cosmetic products, B: Animal Feed; C: Food Products-including snacks, and D Nutraceuticals. The aim of this task is to write a qualitative Report describing insights obtained from the consumer-led product concept selection which will be used to inform developments on WP4.


Task 3.3 Focus group

The second stage of the consumer studies will involve a second series of focus groups, from the relevant target markets, assessing consumer acceptance and preference regarding prototype products, compared (if relevant) to some similar products on the market. The aim of this task is to determine the level of acceptability of developed prototypes / final products among consumers in Wales and Ireland.


Task 3.4 Sensory analysis

This task will involve hedonic sensory analysis on the final products (as delivered in WP 5). This will be done using, as far as is possible, a demographically balanced consumer panel [n= 100] and by central location tests (CLT) or Home use tests (HUT) as best suits the final products. The panel will answer a combination of attribute diagnostic questions on each product developed and compare the test prototype with either similar products available on the market or products familiar to the consumers that serve a similar function. Quantitative Hedonic data will be, and ‘likelihood to purchase’ information will be relayed to the Producing Companies. At the end of the project this task will deliver the consumer sensory profiles obtained during the whole operation of the selected prototypes compared to market competitor products.


Task 3.5 Satiety and post prandial sugar analysis.

In addition to determining the level of consumer preferences of the prototypes produced in WP 4, SU partners will generate preliminary data on the impact of oat varieties on perceived satiety and blood glycaemia in non-clinical cohorts. Profiling satietogenic and glycaemic responses to different oat varieties will provide add-on benefit for producers wishing to carve out niche ‘health’ markets by a better discrimination of feelings of fullness and of blood glycaemic disturbances with each oat variety, especially important in the breakfast cereal and biscuit market. In this task, the comparison of the glycaemic response of selected oat varieties in a consumer population will be delivered. 

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