The Taste Test

Testing Buttery Popcorn

What's The Problem?

The Marketing Research Department of a food company had just notified me and my team of scientists that they need our help for a taste test. The company was interested in having my team design and carry out an experiment, which would help them test their marketing claims and also further market their product. My job was to analyze, and communicate my data. My data would be shared with the company via a business letter containing info. about my experiment. Example:If given a blind test, will people like Orville, Act II, or Pop Weaver extra butter popcorn best? What do these different companies claim? Which one is truly the most popular and flavorful? These are all questions we intend to answer by the end of our experiment.

Information and Research Stage

We researched for five days online and we even sent an email to a company to get some answers! Some companies claim that their product is the safest, cleanest, or even just best. For example; Orville Redenbachers popcorn brand claims that Orville brings the family together. Pop Weaver popcorn brand claims that their added canola oil hasn't just made Pop Weaver better, it's made popcorn better. The companies also have slogans that lure people or persuade people into buying the product. For example; Act II popcorn brand's slogan is If you're not snacking boldly, you're not snacking! This is saying that basically if you aren't eating Act II popcorn for a snack you shouldn't be snacking. Pop Weaver's slogan, better taste. Better value. Better for you, is less pressuring however it supports their earlier claim that canola oil in their popcorn is healthier than other oils like palm oil.

Our Hypothesis

We believe that if people test Act II, Pop Weaver and Orville Redenbacher's extra butter popcorn, then the majority will choose Pop Weaver because unlike the others, Pop Weaver popcorn has canola oil in it and when our my group and I tasted each brand, we all liked the Pop Weaver best. Also the website claims that the canola oil tastes better than other less healthier oils in the other brands of popcorn.

The Materials Needed For Our Experiment

Our materials were:

  • 2 pairs of plastic gloves
  • 2 bags of Orville, Act II, and Pop Weaver extra butter popcorn
  • 300 2 oz plastic ketchup cups
  • 1 heater/fridge
  • 1 tri-fold
  • 1 extension cord
  • 2 microwaves
  • 2 cork-boards

The Procedure

Step 1.) Preheat fridge-heater 20 minutes before testing

Step 2.) Two people from your group (in this case Raven and Emily) pop popcorn by ear 10 minutes before testing while the two other people from your group (Ben and Wesley) set up table

Step 3.) Put popcorn into fridge-one brand on each shelf

Step 4.) Wait for testers to arrive

Step 5.) As one person (Raven) informs the testers about our taste test, another person (Ben) takes out two to four pieces of popcorn of each brand and puts them in the correct order(in their cups) according to what the person reading the randomizer sheet (Wesley) says is the next combination.

Step 6.) Serve the testers and record their results on the randomizer sheet

Step 7.) Repeat steps 4-6 on each tester that comes

The Results

After conducting our experiment, our results were: Pop Weaver = 18/40 Act II = 10/40 Orville Redenbacher's = 12/40 (The results are also shown in the graph below)

The End of Tasting

Our hypothesis did not reject because Pop Weaver brand extra butter popcorn had the most favorites out of the fifty people we tested. Pop Weaver had 18/40. If I were to do this experiment again, I would make sure that our three brands were hidden from all views because during our experiment, we had four different people tell us that they could see our three brands. This could have ruined our experiment. For all we know, people could have seen which brand was which and chose not according to taste, but according to which brand they already know they like the best.