Who: Marks & Spencer

What: Dessert Menu Belgian Chocolate Jaffa Spheres

Where: Chilled/ambient desserts

When: Launched September 2014

How much: £3/180g

Why: Christmas gives own-label buyers and developers a chance to pull out the stops and offer products that might not make it to fixture at other times of year. These days, it’s not unusual for such festive innovation to include an indulgent orange and chocolate combo, and this year M&S is ­wooing shoppers with these. 

Consumer verdict: Well presented, and with the trusted branding of M&S, these scored well in terms of pre-trial interest. More than three-­quarters claimed they would notice this dessert in store and over 90% had an eagerness to try. High expectations were met after sampling, with more than 80% agreeing the appearance, aroma, taste and texture were ‘good or excellent.’ An overall score of 43 was achieved, and the product was seen as a definite option for a weekend treat. However, premium positioning and pricing limited sales frequency to a more occasional basis. 

Pre-trial purchase: 56%

Post-trial purchase: 60%

Better than what’s out there: 77%

New and different: 88%

Overall score: 43/50



What is Fast Foodfax?


It is a subscriber service that has been running for more than 30 years, offering consumer assessments of new products and allowing comparisons with more than 17,000 products from our database. It is objective, impartial and totally independent, and each product is assessed using original consumer feedback from respondents across the UK. See here for further information.


Fast Foodfax is prepared by Cambridge Market Research , which works closely with The Grocer magazine on a variety of projects including the consumer judging element of the The Grocer’s Own-label Food & Drink Awards and New Product Awards. 


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