For Gold, Peace, and Freedom


Mail Survey Check and Newsletter Arrives

May 5th, 2007

Another $25 check arrived in the mail today. It was a payment for some surveys that I had forgotten about but that were completed sometime last month. I also received a newsletter from one of the market research companies that actually had some good information.

The newsletter is called Opinion Digest and is apparently being set up as a monthly publication. I had received a similar mailing about one month ago for April. Here is some of the information from the front side.

Dear member,

Ah, it’s here, that lovely time of year, May. All month long there are fun things to do and celebrate, from the Kentucky Derby to Memorial Day.

Did you know that May is National Barbecue Month? It is designed to encourage people to start enjoying barbecuing early in the season, and we have included a recipe to help you get started. Maybe you can use it to fix Mom a great dinner on Mother’s Day.

In this issue of Opinion Digest, we also have an article on how you can participate in online surveys as well as results of a survey asking our members about the types of beverages they consumed in the past six months. Enjoy this new issue of the Opinion Digest!

If you have any questions, concerns, or comments about your membership or the Opinion Digest, you can write, call, or email me. Please see the box below my letter for the best way to get in touch with me.

Thank you for taking part in our surveys. It is your chance to let manufacturers know what you think about the products you use everyday. It also helps them develop new and improved products. Please remember that as part of the survey panel, you are shaping the future with your opinions!

Below the contact info, there are a few sentences about “national arthritis month” and “national bike month”, along with their associated websites. On the back of the page, there is a paragraph titled “online survey takers” in the top left that is an invitation for people to join their online consumer panel. As far as I know, I’m already a member of this panel. The text seems to be written for people who are only taking the surveys by mail, but I since I had first joined through the online part of it, I can probably disregard this.

In the upper right quarter of the page, there is an appetizing recipe for “Simply Great Grilled Chicken” that I will probably try out later. Finally, in the bottom half of the page are the survey results that the initial front page letter mentioned. They were responses from members about which types of beverages that they had consumed during the past 6 months:

Type of Beverage % of Respondents
Bottled water 67.90%
Regular soft drinks 62.50%
Ready made iced tea 42.30%
Flavored water 27.80%
Ready made lemonade 22.10%
Diet soft drinks 20.40%
Caffeine free soft drinks (not diet) 18.50%
Diet caffeine free soft drinks 18.30%
Caffeinated water 5.00%
None of these 7.60%

The bottled water figure surprised me somewhat; I did not know that such a large percentage of people were actually buying the bottled water instead of simply using tap water to make beverages such as lemonade or iced tea. Apparently not enough people have seen John Stossel’s ABC News study, which clearly showed that bottled water is neither more healthy nor even tastes better than regular tap water.

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