Our BUS 345 students are going to be doing some taste tests again this semester, and this time the focus is on cheese!
If you're in that class1, see below for some initial thoughts on resources to help you understand the cheese market and consumers, especially in Canada. Also be sure to check out my earlier blog post -- On taste tests and primary research (redux) -- for a list of resources and search strategies that may help you as you design your taste test methodologies and evaluate the results.
A quick search for cheese Canada should get you to reports such as:
- Cheese in Canada (category briefing)
- Food Intolerance in Canada
- Dairy Packaging in Canada
This approach will also give you Market Size, Company Share, Brand Share, Distribution, and other statistical tables. Be sure to use the options to the left of each table to adjust the time period and other settings to fit your needs.
An alternative (and possibly more effective) search strategy: try the "Browse Tree" link and go to Categories and Topics > Packaged Food > Dairy > Cheese, then add Canada on the Geographies tab.
2. Vividata (the database formerly known as "PMB Reports")
Vividata is in a state of flux at the moment as the current interface will disappear soon, and the new interface is still under development.
Jan. 31, 2017: (extended to Feb. 20!)" Vividata Educational Resources will provide you with the demographics of the Canadian consumers of cheeses by frequency, form, type, kind, brand, and even use (snacks, sandwiches, cooking, etc.). See How to Read a Vividata Crosstab Report or ask in the library if you have trouble understanding these complex, yet powerful, reports.
After Jan. 31, 2017: (Available now, but with less data on specific cheese types): Vividata Target Snapshot will be our new interface. It is available already, but doesn't currently offer the full data or functionality that we expect it to have later this term.
- Lore (links to sites that might help you better understand the news and terms of the cheese world)
- Start with this rough search for cheese, and be sure to follow the links to original sources under the Release tab to the left of each of the charts.
8. As I mentioned in my earlier post about taste tests, it's important to search both PsycInfo and Business Source Complete for research articles about your topic as the two databases cover different, though overlapping, groups of journals.
- Lahne, J., & Trubek, A. B. (2014). 'A little information excites us.' Consumer sensory experience of Vermont artisan cheese as active practice. Appetite, 78129-138. doi:10.1016/j.appet.2014.03.022
- Forbes-Brown, S., Micheels, E. T., & Hobbs, J. E. (2016). Consumer Willingness to Pay for Dairy Products With the 100% Canadian Milk Label: A Discrete Choice Experiment. Journal Of International Food & Agribusiness Marketing, 28(3), 203-224. doi:10.1080/08974438.2015.1054542 (Side note: a label of that sort was mentioned in the news this morning!)
- Wadhwani, R., & McMahon, D. J. (2012). Color of low-fat cheese influences flavor perception and consumer liking. Journal Of Dairy Science, 95(5), 2336-2346.
9. Bonus section! I just came across this brand new ebook: A handbook for sensory and consumer-driven new product development : innovative technologies for the food and beverage industry
- Check out Chapter 12 (in section III): "Sensory Properties of Dairy Products" to learn about the chemical processes that cause different cheeses to taste the way they do. Might be a good way to learn some of the type-specific terms?
I hope that's enough to get you started! If you need more, stop by the library to chat with my colleagues.
Good luck with your taste tests,
Business & Economics Librarian