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Market Research Might Disprove Your Assumptions

There are so many things to consider when doing market research. This includes researching the trajectory of the category the product is in (is it growing? is it crowded?). This includes researching consumer needs and preferences as a whole to determine where the consumer is trending so that the entrepreneur can design products and messaging that resonate. And, because the entrepreneur and their products do not operate in a vacuum, market research could also include competitor research and researching the actual market size/market potential of particular products in particular locations and channels. That is a lot of research!

Market research also includes figuring out, as best the entrepreneur can, the precise profile of the target consumer they are trying to reach. Realistic assumptions need to be made about whether the product resonates with consumers and these assumptions need to be tested and changed if necessary. These assumptions can be validated through formal or informal methods, including having a minimum viable product that is demoed and tested in a limited way with real people. Assumptions can also be validated through aggressively monitoring velocity data once the product is in grocery stores, as well as how much promotional spend is necessary to move the product (i.e. is the product only moving when the price is radically discounted?).

Sometimes, market research can confirm things about the changing consumer that don’t fit with your location’s perceived identity or strengths. In our most recent podcast interview, Barnett Sporkin-Morrison, the Director of the Great Falls Montana Development Authority’s Food and Agricultural Development Center in rural Montana reflected on the tension and opportunity in plant-based protein production as a means of rural economic development. Barnett sees the biggest opportunity for his region, in the short term and the long term, in the plant-based alternative proteins foods market, given his area’s reputation as the “Golden Triangle” for producing pulse crops. However, plant-based and especially cellular based protein and meat alternatives are sometimes met with controversy/skepticism in Montana, where cattle is king.

Market research can feel daunting given the sheer volume of things that must be considered, tested and acted upon. But, good research helps ground the entrepreneur in reality and iterate on products and business models that can achieve their business goals, even if it disproves their original assumptions.


And now, our roundup of the best food and beverage finance news, events and resources from around the web…

Food and Beverage Business Models

Business Model Insights

Raising Capital

Raising Capital

Grocery Store Shopping

CPG/National Brands

Grocery Store Produce Section

Market Trends

Regenerative Agriculture

Farming and AgTech

Mergers and Acquisitions

Deals/M&A

Events

Industry Events

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