Foodback Launch: A New Era of Consumer Insight, Consumer Connections & Product Success

By Tonje Finsrud
Published May 8, 2024
green leafs and plants

Did you know a staggering 90% of new fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) don’t survive their first year?123. Furthermore, consumers are increasingly demanding and expecting transparency from producers and a “stronger focus on sustainability and the environment”4. This is where the project “Foodback Launch” emerged, providing an innovative solution for the FMCG industry, leveraging Foodback’s expertise in gathering feedback within the restaurant and food service industry. By applying our proven feedback collection methods from this industry, we’re now extending our reach into the FMCG industry, bringing a new level of insight and engagement to help producers overcome the challenges facing them.

Bridging the Gap with Innovation

Foodback Launch was an ambitious project born out of a simple yet profound realization: the success rate for new products in the retail food and beverage sector hovers around a meager 10%. In a market flooded annually with some 2,000 new products in Norway alone, the environmental and economic costs of these failures are staggering. The underlying issue is that there is a disconnect between consumer preferences and product offerings, amplified by the shift towards online shopping as well as everchanging trends, standing out has never been more challenging.

The Foodback Loop

At the heart of Foodback Launch is the Foodback Loop, a cyclical, four-step process designed to transform feedback into actionable insights:

  1. Collect: Initiate the cycle with a constant stream of feedback through cutting-edge research tool
  2. Monitor: Utilize state-of-the-art systems for real-time analysis and notifications.
  3. Analyze: Dive deep into the data to identify trends and insights that drive continuous improvement.
  4. Improve: Implement data-driven enhancements, then repeat the cycle to perpetuate advancement.

The Start

Foodback Launch was initiated with a small-scale feasibility study focusing on Orkla’s “Naturli” food brand. The Foodback Loop was utilized to tackle various challenges, transforming subjective consumer experiences into actionable data. The study demonstrated Foodback’s innovative approach to gathering consumer feedback, utilizing simple QR codes on product packaging and take-away pizza boxes. This method achieved response rates significantly above traditional methods, 3.05% from 360 units and 8.48% from 14,000 transactions, respectively, illustrating the power of innovative engagement strategies.

Amplifying impact through academic partnerships

This initiative gained momentum with the support of the University of Stavanger and a substantial backing of 5.7 million NOK from the Norwegian Research Council. This collaboration opens a new chapter in consumer-centric product development, aiming to harness the power of direct consumer feedback to refine the FMCG product lifecycle.

Professor Kai Victor Myrnes-Hansen, a key researcher in the project, shared: “Together with Foodback, we are developing an efficient solution that enables quick and direct feedback from consumers to food producers, aiming to reduce waste and improve product development. The ultimate goal is to make the product development phase more data-driven, reduce the risk of new product failures, and increase a product’s life cycle.”

@Photo Rita Myrnes

Professor Myrnes-Hansen further emphasized the importance of integrating customer feedback early on: “To ensure the successful launch of multiple new products, it’s essential to integrate customers’ feedback into the initial phase. This entails transparently incorporating customer input into communication, implementing real product adjustments based on their insights, and fostering a culture where providing feedback on everyday grocery items becomes the norm.”

Through this project, Foodback aims to mitigate the risk of failure in launching new products by deepening food producers’ understanding of market needs and consumer preferences.

A Testimony to Success: The Q-Meieriene Collaboration

A shining example of Foodback Launch’s potential is its pilot test with Q-Meieriene, a leading dairy producer in Norway. In September 2023, through the collaboration with Q-Meieriene, Foodback QR codes were implemented on the best-selling Q Fersk Sjokolademelk (fresh chocolate milk) and the innovative Q Klimamelk (climate milk).

The introduction of QR codes on products like Q Fersk Sjokolademelk resulted in extraordinary engagement, with 17,000 responses in the first three months, 66% of which included written consumer feedback. This success not only provided valuable insights for Q-Meieriene but also marked a significant step forward in bridging the gap between consumers and producers, showcasing the effectiveness of the Foodback Loop in real-world applications.

On why Q-Meieriene decided to be part of the project, Marketing Director Øystein Skreien says “We joined the project out of curiosity about enhancing consumer engagement, to see if a QR code could bring us closer to our consumers and offer new insights. We started out by testing two products, one new and one existing, and used it as an opportunity to gather genuine consumer feedback on our latest product but also to better understand our consumers’ needs and preferences and uncover if there were improvements needed on our current product range”.

Skreien continues “By giving our consumers an easy platform to give feedback through, we see that they are happily engaging with us and our brand. We’re in turn engaging with our consumers and learning more about their consumption habits and the usage situation of our products, as well as receiving ideas directly from our consumers, revealing valuable insights from our current consumers”.

Brand Manager responsible for Q Fersk Sjokolademelk, Thea Bolstad, is impressed with the amount of new insight they have received. “After using Foodback a while, we’ve seen its potential. It lets us regularly add new questions, keeping it fresh and avoiding survey fatigue by rotating questions for returning consumers. It’s quick, taking just about 30 seconds and we receive instant feedback. We no longer have to wait weeks for feedback; now, we gather insights the moment our surveys go live”.

From March 2024 Foodback´s QR code was implemented on four new Q products.

Why Foodback Launch Matters

Foodback Launch presents a unique proposition in the FMCG industry for several reasons:

  • Deep dive into consumer data: It offers insights beyond traditional sales data, revealing what consumers truly think and want.

  • Continuous feedback loop: Real-time, actionable insights allow for swift adaptations to consumer preferences.

  • Direct communication: By connecting consumers directly with producers, it fosters transparency, loyalty, and engagement.

  • Efficient and agile: It ensures quick responses and the implementation of product improvements, a critical factor in the fast-paced FMCG industry and to ensure continued shelf positioning.

  • Brand engagement: By inviting consumers to be part of the product development process, it builds brand engagement through genuine storytelling and shared values.

Looking Ahead: A Consumer-Centric Future

As we approach the end of the project “Foodback Launch” in May 2024, it is our genuine hope that this is not just the end of a project but the beginning of a new chapter for the FMCG industry. Foodback Launch stands as a clear example to the power of innovation, collaboration, and the pursuit of sustainability and consumer engagement.  In an industry confronted by the growing pressures to act more sustainably as well as dealing with the difficulties of reaching their consumers in an ever growing media and product landscape, Foodback Launch can assist FMCG producers bridge the gap between consumer and producer as well as ensure real-time feedback on products.

The journey towards a more sustainable, consumer-centric food industry is just beginning. Discover how Foodback Launch is not only enhancing the future of FMCG but also changing the way we think about consumer engagement and product development.

About the author


Tonje Finsrud

Director of Business Development – US

Tonje is the Director of Business Development – US at Foodback. She plays a vital role in driving growth and strategic partnerships in the US. Tonje’s not all work and no play! You’ll catch her crushing mountain trails on hikes, soaking up vibes from different cultures while she travels, or hitting the gym for a sweat sesh. And when it’s time to unwind, Tonje loves nothing more than chilling out with her friends and making good food.

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