Concept testing for a soda brand that uses a novel ingredient: cocoa juice

Kumasi is a soda drink made from the fruit pulp around the cocoa bean. It was invented while making a documentary about the cocoa industry in the Ashanti region of Ghana, where it became clear that many farmers depend on selling cocoa but live below the poverty line.

Kumasi helps farmers earn 30% additional income by selling their cocoa pulp, which would otherwise end up as food waste. But to what extent does this story resonate with consumers? How credible and relevant are the claims made?

The brand wanted to find out which of their strengths they need to focus on in their brand positioning and if there are any other hidden strengths that they can promote. So we conducted a concept test to find out.


Kumasi, in collaboration with their investor group Unknown Group.


The goal was to find out which benefits are most relevant to consumers and why, as well as which specific consumer need they fulfill. Through this concept test, we also explored:

  • Hidden strengths
  • Perceived uniqueness
  • Clarity of the concept
  • Effectiveness of Kumasi’s messaging

Our approach:

To answer these questions, we asked our Food Forum for unbiased feedback. Our Food Forum consists of hundreds of real consumers, eager to share their opinions on food related topics.

Participants were asked to complete a series of activities that had two goals:

  1. Generative research: Understand what consumers need when it comes to soda’s and refreshing drinks more broadly. What is it they are looking for? Why choose one soda over another?

  2. Concept test: Understand how clear, appealing, relevant and believable Kumasi’s benefits are to consumers.

Findings in a nutshell:

We found that consumers are not at all familiar with the taste of cacao fruit and for this reason they do expect a chocolate-y flavour, even when the opposite is emphasized. 

At the same time, consumers have certain association with tropical fruit juice that do not necessarily match the drink Kumasi, so the brand needs to steer clear from those.

We also discovered which of the two benefits (farmer income or food waste) resonates more with Kumasi’s target audience and how they can take away doubts or concerns when it comes to these benefits.

How can we help you?

We help you choose the most impactful strategic direction, develop the most effective sustainable product innovations and communicate the most effective message. Find out more here.

We believe that understanding consumers is key to making the food system more sustainable. Successful innovation and impactful communication require a solid foundation of consumer insight. 

We are the insights partner of choice for food companies and non-profits  that aim to have a positive impact on society and our planet. Together we empower consumers to make food choices that are good for them as well as for the planet.

The Hague Tech - Wilhelmina van Pruisenweg 35 - 2595AN - The Hague
(+31) (0)70 2042314 -

Contact us