Unusual Foods

Market Research: Unusual Foods
Interview Guide

This exercise is meant to highlight the complexities and challenges of gathering accurate market research

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You have been hired as a market research consultant for a very successful, urban restaurant considering expanding its menu to include some “unusual” foods.  You have been asked to conduct some interviews to understand more about the consumer definition of “unusual” food. Find more information at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Unusual_articles/Food

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Objectives of the interview are:

to find out how the person you interview defines unusual foods
to determine how s/he feels about unusual foods
to learn some of the foods that s/he has eaten that s/he considers unusual
to learn under what conditions s/he is most likely to eat unusual foods.


Find 3 people to interview. The interview should take no more 10 minutes. The topic guide below can be used to guide your questions.



Conduct 3 market research interviews (with 3 different individuals. Optional – you can create you own questions. Your topic is “unusual foods”.   

When you have completed at least 3 one-on-one interviews, post your response to the following questions in approximately 500 words. Focus your posting on your market research process and what you learned about the research process (NOT the specific results that you obtained from the interviews.)

Do you consider your interview successful? Why or Why not?
What are some of challenges of conducting your interview?
What would you do differently if you were to conduct this interview again?
What are the 2-3 conclusions you learned from this small research about unusual foods and preferences? (Of course, more interviews are needed for a statistically significant sample or decision-making.)

Also, please respond to at least two of your fellow student postings, offering questions or comments that further the discussion. Your response may be to support, question, add new information or present another point of view. Your goal is to engage your colleagues in discussion.  Credit is NOT given for stating what you “like” about a colleague’s post in a response.  You must agree (with supporting details), disagree (with supporting details), add new information, or discuss an alternate point of view.


Example topic guide—unusual foods

The major strength of interviews is that they allow interviews to obtain restricted opinions and comments about marketing behavior.  As such, while interviewers should develop a list of topics, they should also be ready to explore topics that the respondent broaches that they might not have anticipated.  Asking probing questions, such as “Can you tell me more about that?,” “Why is that so?,” and “Can you give me an example?” are helpful.  Following is a suggested topic guide


I. Introduction of respondents

What is your name, profession, nationality?  Please list the ages and relationship of each member of your household.

II. Overall relationship with food

Overall, how do you feel about food?  Do you love to eat, or do you eat just so you will have eaten?
Would you say that you like to try new foods?  Why or why not?

III. Favorite and least favorite foods

What is your very favorite food to eat?  Why is it your favorite?
What is a food that you refuse to eat?  Why do you think you dislike it so much?

IV. Unusual food tastes

Do you think that your food tastes are different than most other people?  Why or why not?
What types of foods do you consider unusual?  Why?
What is the most unusual food or meal you have ever eaten? When was it?  Where were you?  Who were you with?  Did you want to eat that food?  Why or why not?  Why did you eat it?
Do you like to eat unusual foods?  Why or why not?  Give an example of an unusual food that you like to eat.  What is a food or food combination that you like to eat that almost nobody else likes to eat?  Why do you think you like to eat it?  Why don’t other people like it?
Are you more likely to eat unusual food if you are someplace new?  If you are at a restaurant?  If other people are eating the food?  If a friend serves it to you?  Any other conditions?

VI. Animals

Name the animals you are willing to eat.  Name the animals you would refuse to eat.  Why?

V. Ethnic foods

In general, do you like ethnic foods?  What ethnic foods do you like best?  What kinds of ethnic foods would you refuse to eat?  Why?  Are there any types of ethnic foods that you consider particularly strange?  Why?

IV. Best and worst meals

What is the best meal that you’ve ever had?  Exactly when and where did you have it?  Exactly what were the foods included in the meal, to the best of your memory? Why did you enjoy it so much?
What was the worst meal that you’ve ever had?  Exactly when and where did you have it?  Exactly what were the foods included in the meal, to the best of your memory? Why did you dislike it so much?

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