Entering a market with a new product presents challenges in understanding consumer behaviour, in addition to opportunity. Read more to see how to utilise behavioural sciences to better predict performance in retail, amongst other consumer insights for new products.


Understanding consumer behaviour, particularly in emerging categories like functional beverages, places enormous pressure on new brands to influence consumer choice at the shelf. Drinks innovator, OBA had developed a new product line promising functional benefits of fibre and pre-biotics from an African fruit, as well as a healthy alternative for hydration and refreshment. Facing a very tight time frame to compete for incubator funding for their launch in the US market, OBA needed validation that the product, and the packaging to promote it, would drive consumer choice without the benefit of OBA being a well-known brand. They needed to measure the impact of their product’s brand promise on consumer decision making, knowing that packaging in the context of the entire shopper journey, would be a key component to influence purchase choice. Limited time and budget left OBA a few options for validating their NPD assumptions.


PRS IN VIVO’s decades of experience applying behavioural science to shopper research has enabled us to amass extraordinary expertise in FMCG, Food, and Beverage. Our understanding of the “Drivers of Influence” in shopper and product experience, enables us to predict performance in retail, through analysis of behavioural metrics for thousands of products, packaging and shelf designs. To leverage this expertise efficiently, so brands can cost-effectively and rapidly screen lots of ideas, our Innovation team created an agile, AI-driven solution. Especially important for start-ups and disruptors, it enables PRS IN VIVO to mine our extensive database, screening multiple options for new and re-stage pack designs, and predicting their potential to influence consumer choice. The solution combines the expert evaluation of packaging designs with the AI-derived score, combining human and machine insights that can predict retail success. The result? A 29 rapid, cost-effective way to leverage PRS IN VIVO’s category expertise with data-driven metrics, narrowing options for NPD that were optimal to take forward.

Armed with the AI Screener scores, PRS IN VIVO took the optimal packaging designs into a round of qual using the BeQual™ toolkit. This proprietary tablet-based approach automates projective techniques, so respondents respond to stimuli in an engaging activity approximating their behaviour on social media (self-identifying as segments through profiles like those on social pages, mimicking “likes”, developing hashtags to describe how they relate to the product). Results captured and aggregated into a live data link, viewable instantly and permanently, whether the client is in the viewing room or observing from a remote location. The Qual research allowed us to connect the packaging to the concept and product itself.

OBA optimised designs based on the results moving to further Shopper Lab research, in the context of a full shelf set, identifying behavioural elements to change for improved scoring.


At a critical juncture in their NPD process, OBA was able to access best-in-class category expertise rapidly and cost-effectively in order to refine options with optimal potential to drive in-market success. OBA was able to proceed with launch plans, giving investors and partners confidence that their product line has high potential to capture market share when it is released 30 in the US market.

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Business Ventures