MHS marketing class uses taste test to compare brands

Taste test 1 WEB

This group’s task was to see how taste testers reacted to a name brand cola versus a store brand cola. Pictured, from left: students Jaqueline Calderon, Shane Holmes, Juan Ochoa and Marshalltown High School teacher Rachel Nelson-Loupee, who acted as one of the taste testers Wednesday.

Name brand food and drinks went up against their store brand counterparts in a Marshalltown High School marketing class last week.

The results released this week show both types of brands appeal to consumers, but more respondents said they preferred the taste of name brand products.

The class of sophomores, juniors and seniors, guided by MHS business teacher Carissa Lewis, set up a taste testing activity to compare name- vs. store brand products, including:

• Colas

• Breakfast pastries

• Stacked chips

• Bottled water

School teachers and other staff came by the classroom to taste each product and share their preferences in surveys made by the students. The products were labeled “A” or “B” by each group so testers were unaware of which brand was which.

Out of the 10 people who tried the cola brands, six preferred the name brand compared to four who preferred the store brand.

The breakfast pastries had a similar split, with five people preferring the name brand compared to four who liked the store brand. The stacked chips shared the exact same result as the breakfast pastries.

The bottled water test produced interesting results. Three testers preferred the name brand water and another three said they preferred the store brand water. Four testers said they had no preference for either brand.

Across all four individual product surveys, the name brands won out with 19 testers preferring their taste. It was close, though, with 15 respondents saying they preferred the store brands.

The project was part of a unit to teach the students about the four P’s of marketing – product, price, place and promotion.