I've just done a project for innocent drinks, interviewing consumers in the aisles.
There is no better final way to check the appeal of a new product before you commit to production runs than to put it on the shelf in the supermarket, and see if it catches shoppers' attention. Do they see it as they come round into the aisle? Do they pause, approach it and pick it up? Does it stand out against its competitors? Will it sell?
In this case, it did. It frequently went into trolleys and off down the aisle towards the check-out. I had to run after people and explain to them that it wasn't quite a finished product, and that, no, they couldn't buy it yet.
James Averdieck of Gu Puds, when he was starting out, used this guerilla approach in the aisle to see how positively people reacted to his puds.
I've used it for several clients now with formal permission from stores and head office. Innocent, Fabulous Bakin' Boys, Firefly Tonics, Rude Health, Peters Yard Crispbreads, Jealous Sweets, Yorkshire Provender Soups.
It's fast-track consumer scrutiny. On a tight budget.
Any small fast growing company with retail SKUs can try it.
Go on. I dare you.
If you want to know how, drop me an email: firstname.lastname@example.org