Market and New Media Research Lab
During this semester, we were asked to select and research either a product or a service in order to learn and better understand how the research field works. After much thought and consideration amongst many categories, our team chose to research the potato chips industry. We decided to work on potato chips because we believe it is a category that everyone likes and we would have great participation in the questionnaire, as well as because it is a category that interests us.
In the beginning, we searched for the sales of potato chips worldwide and the places where someone can find them. We did a SWOT analysis so that we find out the companies’ strengths and potential for further growth, so we know where to base ourselves. Focusing on two brands, Lay’s and Jumbo, we created personas for each, so that we understand our customers. With the assistance of a category map, we wanted to highlight both the pleasurable and the healthy choices of the potato chips industry.
We created a questionnaire and shared it with all of our acquaintances, regardless of age. Based on the data we received, we had a large appeal to people of ages 18–24, as they made up 66% of the answers. People of ages 25–34 constituted 10% of the answers, while almost 5% of the participants were aged 35–44 years old. It was concluded that the next oldest age group of 45–54 years formed 16% of the questionnaire’s participants. Finally, in the age group of 55–64 years, we had almost 3% of the answers and we had no answers from the group of 65 years and over.
According to the data we collected, 34% of respondents buy chips 2 to 3 times per month. Quite close to the first choice, with an amount of 31% are those who shop for chips once per month. The percentage decreases to 24% when the purchase is made once per week. Finally, the answers are the fewest for the option “rarely”, at a final percentage of 10%.
Our research’s participants were mostly women, by far, while only 21% of the participants were men. Women happened to show greater interest or will to complete our questionnaire, even though we believed the topic to be gender-neutral. Meanwhile, “male” and “female” were the only answers given.
We let the 70 participants of our questionnaire pick the brands that are most known to them and concluded that these brands are by far Tsakiris and Lay’s, with a result of 97% and 94% each. Ruffles come close behind, with a result of 89% and Jumbo, one of our two chosen brands, is the least known brand, with a good reach of 73%, nonetheless. Many participants, specifically 19%, chose to write their own responses and most of them mentioned the brand Pringles. In conclusion, Pringles is also one of the most known brands and is worth it for us to take it into account.
To the question ‘‘Which brands have you consumed in the last three months?’’, the vast majority picked Lay’s chips, then Tsakiris and with a small difference Ruffles and Jumbo. Only 9 people out of 70 hadn’t eaten any of these brands lately, which proves their success and popularity in the industry.
In this questionnaire, we included the question about which is the favorite chips’ brand of each consumer. It was answered by 70 people. Most participants, 26, answered that Lay’s is their favorite brand. The second preferable brand is Tsakiris and the third is Ruffles. This questionnaire showed us, apart from the most likable companies, that other brands such as Pringles, Jumbo, and Doritos are not be chosen by many people.
When it came to the criteria the consumers considered when purchasing chips, the majority ranked taste as the most crucial element. They also valued the quality of the product greatly, as seen in the questionnaire. Around one-third of the participants viewed discounts as fairly important while staying neutral regarding the price option. Moreover, the brand name was not considered as one of the major factors, and lastly, low calories were ranked as the least important aspect by more than half of the participants who took our survey.
In this questionnaire, respondents asked to rate the Lay’s brand in terms of the criteria for which they purchase it. Admittedly, the first thing that the 70 consumers want is the taste of the chips. That is why the answers of the participants show that the taste of Lay’s is definitely the first criterion (35.71%), second, comes the brand name and its consistency, the price and the offers, and finally the low calories.
Regarding the brand of chips jumbo, the evaluation differs from the one we have already mentioned. Here the taste and price are almost the same value for consumers. The price slightly exceeds the taste (32.86% versus 31.43%). Immediately after the quality, the offers, the name of the brand but again last of all are the low calories.
In our survey, we also included a question on the occasions they choose to eat chips. The results were more or less predictable since it is a product we all have tasted and is quite familiar to us. Nonetheless, we still wanted to ask this and find more insights. Almost half of the respondents (48%) said that they eat chips at parties or social gatherings. Eating chips out of boredom and/or cravings received 45% of the answers, as well as the occasion where they eat chips while watching a movie or a TV show. Lastly, 26% of the respondents answered that they might eat chips for no particular reason.
To sum up, through our research we verified our common assumptions about the potato chips and we also find out some new insights. We really enjoyed the whole process and the learnings that came with it.
Professors: Betty Tsakarestou, Dimitra Iordanoglou, Konstantinos Ioannidis
Team: Georgia Bethani, Anastasia Goutou, Αγγελίνα Κοκοβίλη, Bianca Konstantinidou, Dora Kopsafti, Maria Megalokonomou, Anastasia Papathanasiou, Theodora Trapezonta