Frequency of participation

Is it true that consumers frequently recruited from databases develop bias?

Recruiting consumers for product evaluation through a database or panel is an efficient solution when conducting a large number of product tests: consumers can be easily reached and the large number of available respondents and profile consumption behavior data previously gathered allows for the rapid recruitment of an appropriate respondent sample.


SAM wanted to explore whether biases exist among frequently recruited consumers. Consumer data was analysed over multiple product test cycles at one-month intervals for low, medium and high frequency participation rates examining motivation, engagement and test familiarity on the one hand and product liking, re-consumption intent and sensory perception on the other.


Although frequent respondents tend to be more positive towards products, product discrimination, ranking and re-consumption intent are stable no matter the frequency of research participation. Provided recruited consumers evaluate a wide range of product categories, they do not become experts from frequent study participation. Having a balance of frequent and less-frequent consumers ensures a favorable balance and representative data.