Optimising the whole product

Optimising the whole product

Xmas Pudding

The Challenge

There's more to a food product than just the eating! The pack, price, brand, nutritional information and many other factors all impact heavily on the purchase decision. The question facing a Christmas Pudding manufacturer was how to combine all these impact factors when optimising the product and how to achieve a more cost effective solution that still delivered the best product to the consumer.

Our Strategy

Recipe, particularly levels of nuts and cognac, pack type (microwavable or ceramic), product shape (round or square), texture (light or traditional rich) and price were all key variables. By varying these systematically to create a range of product variants we could investigate the relative importance to the consumer of each factor and so identify the optimum combination for the product.

What We Did

We designed an experiment that produced a range of puddings for example, two products were:

Product 1

Square pudding Microwavable pack With cognac New light texture

Product 2

Round pudding Ceramic pack With nuts Traditional rich texture

We then asked consumers how likely they would be to buy each of them.

What we found

Conjoint analysis identified the relative importance of each factor to each consumer and how the market was segmented. So for some pudding shape was top priority, while for others a light textured pud was what mattered most. We defined the most successful combinations of factors, recommended which products to move forward with and were able to predict which sectors of the market each combination would appeal to thereby maximising the opportunity for success.


The findings were used by the NPD team to reformulate their Christmas Pudding and deliver a cost saving to the business whilst maintaining consumer appeal.

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