DATA-BASE TEST LEADS TO VERYFINE TUNING

WESTFORD, Mass. -- Veryfine Products here is making changes to one of its products, based on the results of a consumer usage test conducted through a major supermarket chain's electronic frequent shopper program data base."Veryfine was evaluating two potential product changes to our key juice products," Linda Forbess, director of marketing research at Veryfine, told Brand Marketing."As part of the

WESTFORD, Mass. -- Veryfine Products here is making changes to one of its products, based on the results of a consumer usage test conducted through a major supermarket chain's electronic frequent shopper program data base.

"Veryfine was evaluating two potential product changes to our key juice products," Linda Forbess, director of marketing research at Veryfine, told Brand Marketing.

"As part of the evaluation process, it was important to us to measure consumer reaction to the two alternatives. To survey the most frequent purchasers of the brand, a research study was coordinated through Consumer Card Marketing [Braintree, Mass.], which fielded the project through the major supermarket client," she explained.

"We really wanted to gauge consumer reaction to the two alternatives from our heaviest users. This allowed us to get the consumer feedback to enter into the decision-making process," she added.

The test was conducted in the fourth quarter of 1995 in all of the retailer's stores. Citing confidentiality agreements, Forbess declined to mention the name of the supermarket operator.

Veryfine decided to go with one of the two alternatives that was tested. Because the change is in the process of being incorporated and has not yet made its way to store shelves, Forbess could not elaborate.

Forbess said market tests using supermarket data bases are an ideal forum for brand marketers of "low-incidence" products not purchased by every shopper to gauge consumer buying habits.

"We found this test to be very, very helpful for low-incidence products," she said.

Based on the success of the initial test, Forbess said Veryfine is planning to work with the chain's data base again in the future.