Editor’s note: Ferrara’s insights team was awarded the 2021 Best Client-Side Team award and was recognized at the Marketing Research and Insight Excellence Awards Virtual Celebration. To learn more about the awards, visit quirksawards.com. 

Ali Beck: We can’t pick favorites! Though, Black Forest is a very interesting brand to work with because it spans both candy and fruit snacks categories. Understanding both categories, and the intersection of the two, has been a priority for us. It is very exciting to build out these foundational learnings. And, working to bring to life innovation for the Black Forest better-for-you candy consumer has been super interesting and insightful.  

Maia Chang: Ferrara has partnered with local business schools for the past few years to work with students on both quantitative and qualitative research. These partnerships have been fantastic in allowing us to work with brilliant minds – both students and professors! Because many of these students have never worked with insights they’re able to come in with a fresh perspective and ask creative question. It’s always inspiring to hear their excitement as they uncover unexpected insights. 

Beck: The recent launch of Trolli Sour Bursting Crawlers has been a recent win for Ferrara, including our team. This idea was swiftly and efficiently tested, re-tested, developed and validated with clear indication of launch readiness within roughly a year. We’ve learned how to be even more agile with our approaches to the innovation research funnels – identifying where we can flex and not sacrifice confidence in consumer understanding. 

Chang: We’re always looking for methodologies and tools that will help deliver strong consumer insights! Like everyone else in the industry, we’re always faced with the challenge to deliver insights quicker. We’re also continuing to run into COVID-driven research challenges – e.g., more challenging to d...