Competitive Intelligence

Assessing the market for a synthetic protein

The Challenge

A global investor was offered an opportunity in a potentially disruptive, but unproven synthetic protein technology. They urgently needed to learn if and how successful the new product could be.

How would consumers in key world markets react to the artificial food? What market share could it achieve at either a premium price or at a disruptive low price, and in what time frame?

Our Approach

We created a consumer-facing product stimulus from publicly available PR material and built prediction markets for relevant food category and competitor market data in two of the world’s largest food markets.

Rather than just asking for purchase intent, we used our LURE test pattern (Liking, Uniqueness, Relevance, Effect) to generate a holistic consumer response to the new product’s attributes and claims. Finally, the super-forecasters in our crowd predicted consensus market volumes at two price points for short and long-term horizons.

Using these data points we built a simulator of consumer demand, base case value and volume shares dependent on price points, supplemented by high and low case scenarios, as well as estimates for the cannibalisation of the client’s current, natural product.

The Result

Our client could plug these numbers directly into their investment evaluation model and calculate cash flows in consideration of expected production cost and scale economies. Qualitative insights into consumers’ true motivation for product take-up and rejection gave the client a strategic advantage in negotiations with the target.