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Free Product from Paid Survey Arrives

April 12th, 2007

One of the nice benefits of doing paid surveys is that in addition to getting paid for the surveys themselves, sometimes you also get to sample new products for free (and have them shipped to you free also) before they become available to the general public.

Many companies will spend a surprisingly large amount of money to have people “secretly” test their products and give them honest feedback so that the companies can determine whether or not their new product is likely to be successful in terms of actual sales. After a significant sampling of people have tried the product and answered a follow-up survey on it, the companies can use the survey results to “tweak” their product so that it is more likely to appeal to people that might be interested in buying it.

Earlier today, I received one of these kinds of products from a survey that I had completed a little over one week ago. Around 11:00 this morning I received a package in the form of a box that was approximately one foot long, eight inches tall, and eight inches wide. The package had been shipped by express overnight delivery, and there were labels on the box indicating that the contents needed to be refrigerated. Compared to the size of the product itself, the box was actually rather large and contained lots of packaging material, including two reusable ice packs that had been used to keep the product cold during shipping. After removing some bubble wrap, I discovered that the product was a Pina Colada Fruit Cup that measured about eight ounces in volume.

After putting it in the refrigerator, my mother and I sampled it later in the day. It primarily consisted of pineapple chunks and coconut flakes, along with a very light but surprisingly tasty syrup. Both the solid and liquid portions of this single-serve dessert were significantly lower in sweetness (and probably calories as well) than most other fruit-based desserts that I have had in the past. The product also managed to maintain a good balance between the pineapple and coconut flavors; neither flavor dominated the other, and when both flavors mingled into the liquid, the result was something that probably could be sold as an “exotic” beverage separately from the pineapple chunks.

The survey company did not tell us what the brand name of the product was supposed to be; the plastic cup that contained the fruit was unmarked except for a three-digit code that we will be asked to type in later when we take the email follow-up portion of the survey. These product codes are the survey company’s way of having us confirm that we actually received the product and can therefore provide an honest opinion about it.

After the testing period concludes, the product may be released for retail sale pending possible adjustments based on the results of the follow-up survey. In the coming weeks, if I see a fruit-based dessert product in our local supermarket that is similar to the one that we have sampled, I will sample this as well and post an update on the results.

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