The International Consortium on Agricultural Biotechnology Research (ICABR)
Using Simulated Test Marketing to Examine Purchase Interest in Food Products that are positioned as GMO Free
Cal Poly State University
Research has been conducted to examine consumer attitudes toward genetically modified food. However, attitude research does not address the specific question: "Will purchase interest in a specific product be impacted by the consumers knowledge that a product is a genetically modified food product?" Simulated test marketing research is a methodology that has been used by the marketing community since the 1960s to forecast purchase interest in new products and new positioning for existing products. This research examines consumer attitudes toward genetically modified food by examining the purchase interest in a food product that is positioned as GMO Free. It may be hypothesized that consumer reaction to the positioning will be related to the type of food product. Therefore, this research examines consumer response to the GMO Free positioning to two types of food products: a snack food and a fresh vegetable food product.
This research examines the market response of 600 food purchasers in the San Luis Obispo, California. A survey instrument will be administered through the use of a personal interview in February 2001. The new product exposure to consumers will be achieved through the use of simulated test marketing (STM) methodology.
Simulated test marketing is a quantitative marketing research methodology that has evolved since the 1960s to forecast year one sales of a new or repositioned product. This research uses the laboratory experiment component of simulated test marketing in a four cell study design. One cell examines the newly positioned GMO Free snack product. The second cell examines the same product without the GMO Free positioning at the same price. Cell three examines the newly positioned GMO Free vegetable product. The fourth cell examines the same product without the GMO Free at the same price.
During the interview purchasing information, awareness concerning GMO food products, and demographic information will be collected. After the food purchasing information is collected, the respondent will be exposed to one of the four concepts, the GMO Free snack product or the existing snack product that is not GMO Free, the existing vegetable product, or the vegetable product that is positioned as GMO Free. A concept board is used to introduce the test product with its price. A competitive board is used to remind respondents of the existing competitive products and their prices. Purchase interest in the concepts will be evaluated using an eleven-point purchase interest scale.
The impact of biotechnology will be examined within two categories and across two categories. Further, the category behavior and the demographics of consumers that indicate a higher purchase in the GMO Free concept will be identified. Those respondents will represent consumers that have negative perceptions of genetically modified food. Conversely, those that do not indicate a higher purchase in the GMO Free concept will be identified as those with neutral or positive attitudes toward genetically modified food products.