Nestle Refrigerated Foods: Contadina Pasta & Pizza (a)

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1. What are the strengths and weaknesses of the BASES I (concept test) and BASES II (concept + taste test)?

Both tests measure market potential to a degree. The results can be used to gauge level of awareness and possible usage of a product as well as to understand customer’s perception of the product/brand. These results can be used to potential sales and marketability of the product. However, the BASES I test does not utilize any actual products (taste testing) to ascertain customer reaction. It depends solely on the replies from potential customers to forecast marketability and impressions of the product. This type of survey can be conducted quite quickly with relatively little expense. On the other hand, BASES II includes a taste test along with its concept test to gather similar information for forecasting. The advantage of the BASES II is that the people surveyed can sample the product and provide feedback. They provide feedback on what they liked or disliked about the actual product instead of discussing what they might like or dislike about the proposed product based on the surveyor’s description. This information can be very valuable to the manufacturer as he can modify his product, marketing plan, and focus based on the responses. However, this type of survey is much harder to conduct than a BASES I survey. It is more costly and time consuming. Further compounding the problem in the Nestle case, is the fact that only past or loyal Contadina customers where surveyed. This segment of people is more likely to be favorably biased toward the product and will skew the results because they already believe in the brand and its products. Conducting the test in this fashion would not necessarily gauge the marketability to non-Contadina customer. Another complication comes from the likelihood that people who are given free samples are more prone to respond favorably to the product due to the simple fact that they were given special treatment in being selected to participate in a survey by a company to which they already identify with.

BASES test is done to estimate potential sales volume and to understand the likely sales effects of alternate positioning.

Strengths1.Simple test (No actual product used in concept test) 2.Less costly to conduct
3.Used to assess the current level of awareness, and usage of products (e.g. pasta and fresh pasta sauces) 4.Understand customer perception of three possible Contadina positioning statements (Homemade, Pasta Dinner, and Superior) with respect to competitive brands 5.Estimate first year trial volume and simulate total Year 1 sales volume

1.Test is more rigorous (Involves concept test in combination with a product taste test)

Weaknesses1.Volume estimates is generally thought to be within a 25% accuracy range 2.Potential biased results as respondents were 18+ females and were living within 100 miles of the interview city site

1.Reliable within 20% accuracy range
2.More costly to conduct
3.Conducted only in high potential markets

2. What can one learn from Exhibits 13, 14, and 15?

From the exhibits, we can see that there are positive ratings on the both concepts, preassembled pizzas and kit pizzas. With the average rating well above 5 for most categories, this means that there is definitely a market for Contadina pizzas. Contadina’s pizza offerings are favorable well above those of the current frozen pizzas on the market and indicates that these concepts are well received. Secondly, it appears that the differences between the two concepts are extremely close. However, the assembled pizzas have a slight edge as compared to the kit pizzas portrayed in Exhibit 13.

Nestle’s market research department (MRD) generally applies a seven step process to any new product development. The second step is “Concept Screening / Idea Refinement”. In this phase of new product development, MRD conducts survey to...
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