The regrettable thing about so much consumer research is that it gets "sanitized" so quickly. For example, a hypothetical survey report may say, "A survey of 1,000 moms found that 64% prefer sweet apples to sour."
That is fine, but it takes the edge off the fact that each of those 1,000 consumers surveyed has their own story, their own reasons, their own motivations for acting as they do.
We don't care about 1,000 moms. One thousand moms can't hurt us, but one can. We can care about one mom and seek to understand why she picks up one apple and not another.
One of the refreshing aspects of the work that Gen X Mom Sarah Krause has done in polling some of her mom friends is that the result of her interviews reveals a level of insight uncommon in a typical consumer survey. Thanks to Sarah and friends for sharing a window to their very personal world of apple preferences.
By Sarah Krause
Julie buys apples every other week, about three to six apples of two to three different varieties … “I try to keep them on hand because they keep really well.”
When she was growing up, Julie's family only had red delicious in their home, but then a stint helping out at a farm after college introduced her to many other varieties. So she will still get some red delicious but select from many others, like gala, mcintosh, honeycrisp, and whatever is on sale. At her son’s preschool, during “apple week” the kids did an apple tasting and graphed what they liked.
He came home and said he liked gala. She was stunned and pleased to hear that, so now she buys that one. She wishes apples weren’t so expensive but appreciates when they go on ad special. One thing she’s excited about: the little individual sliced apple packs. “I like that it’s an option and it’s a good thing to buy for Girl Scout meetings, lunchboxes or just to snack on.”
TK: My wife Sally is a first grade teacher and also has "Apple Week," with all the kids bringing apples from home to school and all manner of taste-testing going on. Kudos to teachers who work apples into the grade school curriculum! Does the industry do enough to support these efforts?
Shannon buys apples about once a week when she goes to the grocery store. The family doesn’t like red delicious, (“I don’t like red apples… it’s funny, I know!”) opting instead for gala, golden delicious, pink lady and granny smith. She usually buys six or more at a time and always has them on hand. Not organic, just the "regular" kinds. They just cut, peel and slice them. …rarely bake them.