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Sodium Research

In: Other Topics

Submitted By kasmith331
Words 1001
Pages 5
Sodium vs. Salt: Are our Consumers
Aware and Active?

Kelly Smith and Robert Morella
New England College of Business and Finance
MKT301 Marketing Research

Intended for: Professor Chris Weir

Table of Contents

1) Executive Summary…………………………………………………...

2) Purpose of Report……………………………………………………..

3) Methodology…………………………………………………………..

4) Findings………………………………………………………………..

5) Recommendations…………………………………………………….. 6) Appendix……………………………………………………………… a. Questionnaire…………………………………………………. b. Interviewer Instructions………………………………………. c. Locations Utilized……………………………………………..

Executive Summary

The research put forth in the following document was conducted based upon executive request on how to further promote a well-designed line of prepared soups and to determine if altering advertisement strategies would attract more consumers. In order to obtain the right results, it was determined that a simple questionnaire given to a random sample of patrons at local supermarkets would be the best route to take – ensuring no bias and no preferential selection. Questionnaires were handed out to random individuals frequenting the most popular and well-known markets: Shaw’s, Hannaford, Super Fresh and Pathmark.
**Please note, individuals were interviewed in these locations, however, other locations were verbally given as a preference for grocery shopping.

It was discovered that a majority (75%) of interviewees were not aware of the difference between sodium and salt which showed a direct correlation to healthy levels of sodium consumption: 75% did not know or were unsure of what a healthy consumption level was. A little over 81% were not aware of the importance of sodium in their diets yet a large percentage (75%) knew the potential health effects of consuming too much – namely high blood pressure. With the knowledge of knowing potential health risks, only 50% of interviewees bothered with reading the nutrition label when purchasing processed soups, being more concerned with price and taste rather than nutritional value. It was discovered that 56% of interviewees would not sacrifice taste for lower sodium content. The recommendation given would be to alter marketing strategies and promote the soups as “healthy and nutritious” with a large emphasis on “affordable and delicious.” While most consumers are aware of health concerns, the majority of consumers rely on taste and price to make their decisions.
Purpose of Report The purpose of this report is to help the marketers of XYZ, Inc determine the best strategy for the new advertising campaign that is being launched by Spring of 2013. The executives wanted to understand the average consumer and their mind-set when purchasing prepared soups from the supermarket. The marketing team was undecided in the advertising approach, choosing between focusing on healthy and nutritious – or if they need to change the angle and focus more on taste and affordable for the working family. The objective of this research process was to help aid the marketing team in deciding which direction to take. Is nutrition and health still the correct avenue to venture down? Is that typically what concerns consumers when purchasing soups? Sodium content is a growing concern among other products within the food industry. Determining the extent to which it matters in the soup industry is imperative to how the marketing team is going to proceed with the advertisement campaign.

Methodology This research utilized the questionnaire method, with the use of a Likert Scale to determine the frequency or actions and habitual patterns of those that were interviewed. Employing a team of researchers to conduct these interviews with face-to-face contact and having all responses and demographics recorded allowed for reliability in the research results and the ability to accurately analyze and process the results obtained.
Through discussion and additional external research, a questionnaire was developed that eliminated bias and “leading” of the interviewee. All those interviewed were responding freely to simple and logically ordered questions, selected at random. An individual entering the premises was selected (1 in every 15 who entered the facility) based upon numerical appearance and asked to participate in the questionnaire. For those that declined, the next available individual was selected – a protocol that was previously determined by the research team members.

Findings

Recommendations Based on the information provided by the consumers we spoke to, it is overwhelmingly noticeable that there is a low knowledge of sodium but a high awareness of the effects it could have on an individual.
Since the marketing group employed us to determine whether or not a new approach should be taken in the advertising campaign of their prepared soups, the belief of this research team is: Yes.
It is further recommended, based on responses received from those interviewed, that an emphasis be placed on taste and pricing of the goods being advertised as these were the two most commonly sighted reasons for purchasing a brand of prepared soup. With a 50/50 split in whether an interviewee was male or female, it is also recommended that the advertising campaign attempt to be a gender neutral as possible.
By implementing all or as many of these recommendations as possible into the advertising campaign, it is felt that the success of the line of soups will increase over time. Making consumers aware of the healthy aspects, as well as the taste and affordability, will heighten the visibility of the product and should serve to increase sales.

Appendix
I. Questionnaire:

II. Interviewer Instructions Each interviewer was given the questionnaire and instructed to hand them out randomly based on every 15 consumers that walked through the facility doors. If a participant declined, the interviewer was instructed to utilize the first individual that accepts the participation invitation following the declination. The interviewer was to stay friendly and approachable – willing to answer questions that the interviewees may have regarding participation and clarification or items presented. The interviewers was also instructed to strike up a conversation with the interviewees as they were conducting the questionnaire in anticipation of getting a more relaxed and honest response from the interviewee.
III. Locations Utilized The following locations were used to select the random samples by the research team: Shaw’s, Hannaford, Super Fresh and Pathmark. Other locations were mentioned by interviewees as locations that were more frequently visited by the individual.…...

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