Understanding the impact of cultural differences on market concepts

Understanding the impact of cultural differences on market concepts

Energy Drink

The Sensory Dimensions difference

Our work gave R&D clear direction to develop samples to fit the concept. The team went on to successfully conduct large-scale consumer research across the UK & Europe and to move ahead with new product development.



The Challenge

A leading fruit juice manufacturer wanted to expand into the energy drinks market and explore the market potential for a new product concept in the UK and in France. There was a need to translate the concept into a design for real product by defining the type and intensity of flavours, the mouthfeel and the ingredients, that consumers expected the product to deliver.


Our Strategy

By combining our sensory expertise with explorative qualitative research techniques we could determine how a series of prototype products performed against the product concept.

What We Did

We ran qualitative sensory focus groups amongst regular consumers of juice and energy drinks in both the UK and in France. The groups combined in-depth, round table discussion and group activities with sensory evaluations, during which respondents assessed samples with different intensities of key product characteristics.

What We Found

The sensory focus groups identified unifying trends between the UK and French consumer and established key drivers of preference. The concept offered consumers in both countries a unique and viable proposition and the study design enabled us to understand how each product component contributed to this.

In addition, the sensory evaluations defined the minimum and maximum intensities of flavour and mouthfeel characteristics to fit best with concept. Feedback on the acceptability and taste delivery of ‘special’ ingredients helped to further define routes for future development.

The groups also highlighted cultural differences between UK and French consumers: in the UK functionality drove expectations whereas in France, quality of flavour was paramount.

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