New products from market research
A Kellogg's case study

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Page 3: Types of research

Primary research

To develop a new Crunchy Nut brand extension, Kellogg's commissioned primary research. This is research gathered firsthand to answer questions that are specific to the project. Although primary research is often time-consuming and expensive, it is considered as a reliable source of information because it is directly from the consumer and is specifically designed to meet the objectives of a project.

There are a number of different ways of collecting primary data. Sometimes agencies are employed to collect data using, for example, street interviews or a questionnaire. This is a systematic list of questions that obtain feedback from the consumers.


For the development of Crunchy Nut Bites, Kellogg's used various different methods of primary data collection. Primary market data may involve qualitative research or quantitative research. Both types of data are valuable in understanding what consumers want or need.

Qualitative data is concerned more about opinions, feelings and attitudes. Quantitative data is in numerical form and is usually gathered from a large sample of respondents.

Qualitative research establishes a conversation with consumers. It prompts consumer reaction to, for example, a new product idea and helps researchers understand what they think of it, how it makes them feel, why they find it interesting or not.

Qualitative research may be obtained through focus groups, where a moderator captures feedback from a group of six or seven consumers to the ideas shown to them. Those ideas may take the format of drawings or having new food prototypes to taste.


Quantitative research may use questionnaires administered to large numbers of respondents. This allows statistical analysis, such as the calculation of a mean score or percentages. It aims to give a representative picture of what consumers think of a new product idea or a new (real) food.

It may involve the use of scales, so numbers get associated with a particular meaning for example, on a evaluation scale of 1 to 7, where 1 means 'very poor' and 7 means 'excellent'. Crucially those numbers need to be interpreted to enable the business to understand the consumer”s overall response.

Secondary research

In addition, Kellogg's used secondary research which is existing research that has already been collected by other organisations. Sources of secondary data include books, journals, the internet and government statistics. Market research agencies collect a range of data which they process and use to provide organisations like Kellogg's with research.

The benefits of secondary research are that it is quicker and often less expensive than primary, although it may not always be completely related to the needs of a specific project.

Kellogg's | New products from market research