Consumer perception is known as a marketing concept, which includes the opinion that consumers have about products and the knowledge and understanding they have regarding these offerings (Izadi Manesh et al., 2015).
Consumer perception includes how consumers view different products and services provided. Several factors affect consumer perception such as advertising, personal experiences, reviews, social media and public relations. Businesses are successful when it is able to retain consumers who continue to purchase its products that helps the business to be profitable. Consumer behaviour is often influenced by consumer perception, which is why businesses consider it as something significant and hence spend a lot of resources to know about it more and use it to their advantage (Mahajan, 2018).
Chocolate is one product that people love and have not stopped buying despite the economic situation being difficult in the world. Chocolate industry continues to grow although there are more people who are health-conscious these days. In fact, most customers consider chocolate as their most craved food worldwide. Consumer preferences for chocolate are different in various parts of the world (Mitrovic, 2014).
For this research, a blind product taste test was conducted for a group of consumers in Fuvahmulah for three different chocolate brands that is Lindt, Mars, and Cadbury. The purpose of the study is to understand consumer perception of customers toward these chocolate brands. The aim is to understand why consumers have different preferences when eating chocolates and to see if assumptions made prior to the study is true or correct.
This report contains various parts. In the next section, the hypotheses formulated for the study will be explained. After that, the procedure used to carry out the study will be described. Later, findings from the study will be interpreted and analysed. Finally, the report will end with the conclusion, marketing implications and limitations of the research.
Procedure / Methodology
For the study, primary data collection method was used with a questionnaire. To conduct the blind taste test for three chocolate brands that is Lindt milk chocolate bar, Mars, and Cadbury dairy milk, a group of 10 participants from Fuvahmulah in Maldives were selected to take part in the study voluntarily. The participants included family members and friends, as they were accessible. The sample for the study consisted of five female consumers and five male consumers between the ages of 18-44 years old. Since the purpose was to understand the perception of these customers about the chocolates without seeing the brand, the chocolate names were not revealed to them at any point during the test while they were taking part in it. However, a chocolate number was given to each chocolate that represented a particular chocolate brand used in the study. To get better results, the participants were also blindfolded so that no participant could look at the chocolate secretly.
Before the taste test began, the procedure for the study was explained to all of the 10 participants once they were gathered around a table and seated. Once everyone was ready, each participant was asked individually to answer the first four questions in the questionnaire that was developed for the study. These questions were basic such as the gender, their age, their favourite chocolate name and the type of chocolate they prefer. After this was filled, they were asked to keep the questionnaire somewhere safe and close by to answer remaining questions in it.
After that, all participants were blindfolded one by one and once everyone was prepared, a single plate was kept on the table in front of each person with a piece of chocolate on it. The participants were told that the first piece of chocolate they taste would be named chocolate number 1 although it was really Lindt milk chocolate bar whose name was kept hidden from them. They were told that chocolate number 2 would be given the second time when in fact it was Mars. Finally in the final stage of the test, they were told that the last one was named chocolate number 3 although it was Cadbury dairy milk chocolate. The actual brand name was not revealed to participants at any time during the study. However, participants were asked to remember the chocolate number along with its taste to help themselves when filling out the questionnaire later.
Participants were asked not to give their opinions aloud during the test as it could affect the perception of others taking part in the study. Once the final stage of taste test was completed, participants were given back their questionnaire to answer remaining questions they had left out earlier and it was collected for analysis once done.
- Izadi Manesh, F., Naami, A., & Hajipoor Shoshtari, A. (2015). Investigating the effect of CRM factors on consumer perception: Evidence from banking industry. Uncertain Supply Chain Management, 3(2), 117-122. https://doi.org/10.5267/j.uscm.2014.12.010
- Mahajan, E. (2018). Consumer Preference and Perception Chocolates in North Karnataka. International Journal of Latest Technology in Engineering, Management & Applied Science, 7(3), 146-149.
- Mitrovic, J. (2014). How different chocolate brands influence our chocolate perception and buying behavior? (Doctoral dissertation).