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Written by Nathan Christiansen

Summer 2018 - Global Consulting Lab (GCL)
Ecuador, UMCO

While working with products such as UMCO’s new line of stainless steel kitchenware, we learned that there is definitely a learning curve with regard to understanding the different grades of steel, the way in which it is manufactured, as well as the individual differences between each product. Once we got a feel for the new product line’s prototypes, we hit the streets. We knew that the people who would be able to give good feedback were the chefs of local restaurants.

Market Research in the Kitchen

We gathered a few of our prototypes and headed out with one of our local specialists. As we entered the first restaurant, their management was surprisingly accommodating. After handling the prototypes, we suggested that they cook with our products in order to test them out. They happily obliged and brought us to their kitchen. Receiving real-time feedback from prospective consumers of our product was fantastic. We got to observe their joys and frustrations as they used the wok prototype to sauté some onions.

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Local chefs testing UMCO products

We recorded key insights that we plan on taking back to our client along with our propositions on how to address or capitalize on them. As we worked our way to other restaurants and spent time with the cooks in their kitchens, we gained more and more valuable feedback. This type of learning is not something that can be done in the classroom. It is critical when trying to perfect a prototype, understand its value proposition, and develop its marketing strategy. We are very excited to move forward, building upon what we have learned in order to produce the new brand strategy and product rollout for UMCO.

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Local chefs testing UMCO products