This article discusses the values of a test market.

Getting Started

Appropriate Subject Area(s):

Market research, marketing, consumer preference

Key Questions to Explore:

  • What is the purpose and value of a test market?
Study and Discussion Activity

Introduction to lesson and task:

Students will learn about the purpose and value of test markets. Students will also have the opportunity to explore how new markets are created.

Action (lesson plan and task):

  • Survey the class to see who has had a Beyond Meat burger. Where did they taste it? What is their opinion of it?
  • Review with the class what a test market is.
  • Individually, have students create a mind map answering the following question:
    • Why is Canada frequently used as a test market?
  • Have students share their mind map with one other person. Each student can add to their mind map ideas they see as relevant.
  • Combine pairs and have students share mind maps, noting differences and similarities.
  • Discuss as a class the highlights of why Canada is frequently used as a test market.
  • Distribute the article for reading.
  • Have students review the mind maps in light of what is identified in the article. Do they have anything to add?
  • In 2002 McDonald’s introduced a McVeggie burger and pulled it from menus in 2005 due to lack of sales. What makes 2019 a different opportunity for McDonald’s to introduce the Beyond Meat Burger?

Consolidation of Learning:

  • Ask students: if McDonald’s was 10 times bolder in addressing the trend toward plant-based food, what would it do? Each person should write a bold idea on an index card, then stand up and start passing their cards around. Ring a bell or clap your hands as a signal to stop passing the cards. On the back of the index card have the student rate the idea they have received on a scale of 1-5. Start the passing again and repeat the bell or clap cycle five times, so each index card has five ratings on the back.
  • Whoever is holding a card adds up ratings on the back. The top three get posted on the board.
  • Ask students to work in teams and develop a marketing strategy for one of the top three ideas.
Success and Additional Learning

Success Criteria:

  • Students understand the purpose and value of a test market.

Confirming Activity:

  • The article talks about the health halo surrounding plant-based foods, but also includes the caution that consumers are not getting a pure vegetarian produce nor necessarily something healthy to eat.   Discuss in small groups, keeping notes on key points, on what you think the public’s understanding of this is and how marketing is influencing consumer choices.