Package Testing: Consumer Research


To identify the best market research method for insights into packaging innovation ideas in the US and Asia for multiple consumer segments in the apparel and shoe landscape, and that is cost-effective and allows customer interaction.

Early Findings


  • Twentify states that there are 2 main types of product testing approaches; Central Location Testing (CLT), where consumers are recruited to test products within controlled environments, and In-Home usage testing (IHUT) where products are shipped to consumers and the testing is conducted at home.
  • According to Consumer Insights Consulting, Central Location Testing (CLT) is assessed as the most suitable method for testing packaging (in addition to concepts, products, and advertising effectiveness).
  • Decision Analyst recommends depth interviews and ethnography (observation research) for packaging research stating that both these methods eliminate the bias that is inherent in focus groups. The article further states that depth interviews provide up to 10 times more detail from a respondent compared with focus groups, and that respondents can't hide behind a mask of silence. Ethnography is where researchers observe consumers shopping, reading labels, and interacting with the package.


  • According to Sagitta Research, CLT which is often called a hall test, is where consumers test a product in a central venue and Participants are recruited based on a set of criteria that characterizes the target consumer profile (gender, age, habits, etc).
  • CLT can be conducted in any setting ranging from a shopping mall to a testing lab. With this approach, researchers can eliminate any bias due to the controlled environment aspect. In addition, researchers are able to obtain raw feedback unlike in phone interviews and online surveys where body language and facial expressions are not seen.
  • Another advantage of CLT is its cost-effectiveness since a large number of individuals can be interviewed in a day. This method also offers a fast turnaround in results.
  • There are several types of CLT methods; Paired Comparison Testing where participants are given two products with standardized criteria; Monadic Testing where each participant is focused on a single product to test how the product will perform in the marketplace; Sequential-Monadic Testing which assesses products at different time frames, Proto-Monadic Testing for comparison between different products, and Repeat Paired Comparison Testing where participants are asked to compare products at least twice.
  • The main factors that need to be considered when selecting the best CLT method include the number of concepts that need to be tested, whether or not comparative data is needed, and the budget.

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