Project Description

Our Client: Major CPG Manufacturer
The Industry: Food & Beverages
Our Tools: Focus Groups among Gen Z Tweens and their Moms

The Challenge

In order to grow sales and share of the fruit snack category, our client believed that expanding its target to overtly attract the lucrative Gen Z tween target would be key. Further, based on their competitive assessment, they felt that there was a need/gap in the squeezable fruit snack category as tweens had strong interest in squeezable fruit snacks, but considered the ones currently on the market as ‘too childish’ and not for them. As such, this manufacturer was looking to introduce a new product based on this ‘going-in’ hypothesis.

Client Objectives

  • To gain a deep understanding of Gen Z tween’s functional and emotional needs. Specifically, to understand what functional product benefits are important to them in a squeezable fruit snack, and importantly to understand what emotional territory they need tap into in order to be relevant to this younger target.
  • To identify package designs, product claims, and varieties, that will address what they and their moms are looking for in the product, while being emotionally appealing to this tween target and grabbing their attention at store and in-home.
  • To learn where and how to best reach this Gen Z tween target.

Our Customized Approach

Recognizing that tweens play an important role in the household snack purchase decision, but that moms are the gatekeepers, it was decided to explore concept and package appeal among both targets.  Groups were also recommended because kids in this age group tend to be more comfortable and less inhibited around other kids.  As pre-work, tweens picked ‘cool’ brands prior to coming to the groups to create a natural energy in the discussion flow while obtaining foundational learnings on ‘what’s cool and what’s not’.  Finally, two phases of groups were recommended with Phase I being educational grounding and first round of packaging/copy exploration, followed by a second phase for package/copy optimization prior to quant.

Key Learnings

  • As hypothesized, there was strong concept appeal for a squeezable fruit snack targeted to tweens. Specifically, while Gen Z tweens love the taste and portability of products currently on the market, they feel the current offerings are too young (i.e., they are embarrassed to eat them at school or with friends).
  • Both moms and tweens found two designs to be highly appealing. That said, there were key differences of opinions too (particularly around graphic designs in terms of what’s cool/what’s not). As such, understanding feedback from both targets was very insightful. (Notably, this is a best practices learning at GLJ Research beyond this project when addressing this tween target)!
  • Key ‘what’s in and what’s not’ learnings were identified per the objectives.

The Results

  • Two rounds of research helped optimize Phase I designs and copy for Phase II (i.e., the team was able to narrow down 6 designs to 3 for round 2 qualitative and 2 final designs for quantitative testing).
  • Quantitatively identified a ‘winning’ design that beat norms on purchase intent and uniqueness among both tweens and their moms.