okay, so one thing that has become abundantly clear in my qualitative research career is that i am not the norm.

i can look at the proposed package designs, advertising campaign directions, and new product concepts and know with a high degree of certainty that the one i like, is not the one that will be carried through to next steps.  (side note: a client once told me they could save millions of dollars by having me taste potential products…knowing that if i liked it, it would fail in the US. yep, quite a feather in my cap!)

i would like to point out that this does not mean i am bad at my job, as i am not hired to guess what the consumers will like, but it simply reinforces that i am so very often not their consumer target.

why this long winded introduction?  because i am about to share some products that i just do not understand…because i am not their target (she types diplomatically).


huh #1: mac and cheese loaf

not sure there is much to say on this one.  i love my starches probably more than the average bear but this feels like it might be taking the joke too far. would you add this to a sandwich? is this to be thick cut and served as a side?  i am now feeling a little regretful that i did not buy some at the time or ask more questions.  anyone have any insights on this?  please?


portland, maine 8.2013

huh #2: jack link’s jerky chew, original (shredded beef jerky)

this was found in a candy store.  it was sitting beside a wide variety of innocent fun kids sugary treats.  sure when i was a kid we had both sugary and gum candy cigarettes (remember how the gum ones would even give a puff of smoke? and the candy ones had the red coloring at one end to represent the fire?)…but now i am going be a hypocrite because this just felt so wrong to me…and somehow different from those other tobacco interpretations.

do i have qualms about big league chew?  pretty much trying to mimic the same thing but in a soft foldable pack and gum not shredded beef jerky…i have no problem there either.

IMG_3601lakeview neighborhood, chicago, 2013

as i am typing this my hypocrisy on this is starting to irritate me.  so i decided to open it.  give it a taste see how it is.

it looks nothing like i expected it to (although i am not positive what i really did expect).  it has the texture of a fine saw dust.  and tastes like aged raw hide saw dust.


ok, so i think it comes down to my lack of love for chewing tobacco in general.  i cannot think of another reason for this almost physical negative reaction.  the packaging is typically used for chew and when that was combined with its flavor and texture this game ended quickly for me.  sugary cigarettes had a melt to them that made them way way fun.  big league chew offered an awesome grape flavor and even fun sugary original flavor.  ultimately, earthy tasting saw dusty looking beef jerky is just not within my ideal target product set (but i am still being a hypocrite because chewing tobacco is not my thing).  but for every product, there is a consumer….right?

Leave a Comment