The concept of Living Labs (LLs) has evolved to support the creation of experience-based development of innovations in real-life, user-driven and open environments. Two types of consumer product tests used generally are central location tests (CLT) and home use tests (HUT) where the acceptability or liking of a product or group of products is determined together with the view of whether one product is preferred over other products. This article explores the similarities and differences between CLT and HUT test results in a LL context. In both settings, the acceptance of five flavoured chocolate bars was evaluated for appearance, odour, taste/flavour, texture and overall liking. Apart from the mean values of liking in the two tests, data were analysed to identify consumer segments. Qualitative data were also collected by asking for consumer comments on the tested samples. The results show that independent of test method the bars were evaluated equally and all accepted by the consumers. A clear difference between CLT and HUT testing was that CLT consumers significantly differed from the HUT consumers, giving the test samples lower scores. For example, the mean values of the overall acceptance scores given by HUT consumers varied between 6.0 and 6.6, while for CLT consumers the corresponding values varied from 5.4 to 5.9. Another difference was the number of comments from consumers. CLT consumers richly commented on the products in a verbose way, while HUT consumers used the opportunity to comment very sparingly. Considering the cluster analysis as yet another difference between the testing methods, clusters from the CLT were more distinct and the number was higher with five clusters in CLT and four in HUT. Clusters where consumers liked all the products in both test settings were twice as many for HUT than in CLT. Applying the LL approach, there is a need for methods and approaches that capture a rich picture of consumers during test performance without being intrusive or obstructive of activities and context. The approach offers the opportunity for companies to have consumers not only test products but also offer input that can stimulate new innovations and give consumers more power and influence.
|Tidskrift||International Journal of Consumer Studies|
|Status||Publicerad - 2015|
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