Two segments of breakfast cereal consumers, previously identified using conjoint analysis as “Healthy Choosey” and “Basic,” were investigated using focus group methodology. The objective of this study was to investigate the attitudes, opinions and concerns of the two largest consumer segments of ready-to-eat (RTE) cereal.
Focus groups, consisting of four to seven participants each, were conducted in triplicate for each of the two segments. Participants met and discussed issues relating to RTE cereal and soy as an ingredient. The Healthy Choosey segment was more concerned with healthy ingredients and sensory acceptance, and was generally not negative to soy, whereas the Basic segment was more concerned about the basic nutrition, price and sensory acceptance, and was either neutral or negative toward soy. Our research indicated that RTE cereal manufacturers should focus on improving consumer acceptance to satisfy both segments of consumers. There is a need to promote the healthfulness of soy-based products without compromising the taste or the cost.