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Tailoring your product prototype to fill market gaps

Global circumstances have significantly changed how consumers search for and consume products in a bid to live a healthier and more conscious lifestyle. To keep up with these fast-paced consumer conversations, it’s crucial to gain insights quickly and adapt accordingly.

The Sports Drink company aimed to uncover the current sports drink consumption habits and preferences of young US participants. To do so, the company sought to understand what sports drinks consumers currently consume, how they define such products, and what are they missing from the current offerings of the market. The main goal here was to leverage these insights to identify how consumers resonate within all-natural sports drink, and what needs to be right for them to adopt.

To grasp how to tailor their next product for active consumers, they carried out an exploratory core needs study.

Audience & Recruitment
No. of participants

10 people

Market

United States of America

Age

18-35

Gender

Female, Male

Needs and definitions of sports drinks and expectations of all-natural ingredients

The findings of the study showed a clear need for the introduction of a new sports drink containing all-natural ingredients.
The study entailed many insights, which can be viewed here. Some of the actionable insights can be found in the following.

Consumers view sports drinks as beneficial for hydration and replacing lost electrolytes during physical activity. They are particularly beneficial for those who struggle with staying hydrated or experience muscle cramps. However, some consumers are concerned about the high sugar content and potential health risks associated with consuming too many sports drinks.

Consumers are increasingly looking for sports drinks that offer more than just hydration. They are interested in drinks that not only contain higher levels of protein, vitamins, and minerals but also provide an energy boost without an excess of sugar or caffeine. Additionally, they are seeking products with probiotics and minerals that promote gut health and overall wellness. 

Consumers are drawn to sports drinks made with all-natural ingredients, perceiving them to be healthier and cleaner, with less sugar and potentially more nutritional value. These attributes make them particularly appealing to those with health concerns or those striving to keep a balanced diet. However, there is some skepticism around the effectiveness and affordability of these products.

Wrapping up...

There are multiple takeaways from this test, but if we’d have to pick just one, it would be: be transparent in your communication of the science behind your claims and align with consumer expectations. While there were clear trends that emerged regarding consumers’ needs for nutritional benefits and low-sugar content, the study also highlighted a clear need for more healthy sports drink alternatives.

If this company had been real, the Sports Drink company would after this test be equipped to adapt its sports drink concepts across touchpoints and ensure a strong product-market fit.

“I think the benefits would be less sugar, less of those extra ingredients we're not looking for. We're looking for replenishment and electrolytes and things like that, and there doesn't really need to be anything else in there. I would probably purchase it more. Right now, I am not purchasing it as much because I don't need it for every workout, but I think I would definitely be more open to buying it more often if I knew that it is all-natural.”
Hailey
22 years old, USA

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