Between 29th July 2016 and 17th August 2016, Cecilia Wanjuu, Lucy Njoroge and Penina Gitau traversed 19 Tuskys stores in Nairobi, Kiambu, Kajiado, Kakamega, Kisumu – a total of five counties – in Kenya. Their mission – consumer profiling for orange-fleshed sweetpotato (OFSP) in Kenya. The three enumerators set out to (i) use demographics to establish OFSP bread consumer profiling (ii) find out the OFSP bread product acceptance by sensory analysis (iii) establish what the purchase and after purchase practices are for those who have bought the OFSP bread before; and (iv) the consumer willingness to pay for OFSP bread. A total of 1,092 people participated in the survey.
During the three week survey, the three enumerators were stationed close to the bakery section of the stores. This ensured that they were able to capture the consumers who were buying bread, buns and scones and were likely to have been exposed to the Tuskys OFSP products. They had the Tuskys sweetpotato bread at hand for tasting, and consumers were asked to assess the smell, color, taste texture and after-taste of the product, among other questions. Pricing of the product was also surveyed with most participants preferring the products stay in the same price range as other like-products.
The Tuskys OFSP products have been available in Tuskys stores countrywide for over a year. However, majority of the people that were exposed to the survey did not know about the products. Some even admitted to having purchased the bread thinking it was yellow bread. Although most participants – after being exposed to the product – thought it was not sweet enough, they said that because of the products’ health and nutritional benefits, they would prefer to buy it in place of ordinary bread.
The survey was a success, but only a few pieces of the bread were available in some Tuskys stores, and so those who liked it could not purchase it. Furthermore, those who did not like the bread refused to be interviewed.
Interesting observations came from the survey participants. For example, there was an expectation that the bread would be sweet because of the yellow color; while some felt that the bread was a bit sour for their liking. Consumers who identified with the product and had been exposed to it prior to the survey complained of inconsistency in supply and said that only a few pieces, if any, were available on most of the shelves.
Pictures from the survey