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Harris Interactive is a full service, consultative, digital market research agency. We are responsive, agile and committed to our clients’ success above all. We have a long history of helping brands succeed and we continuously innovate new means for obtaining insight. We set ourselves apart as we fuse sector expertise and award winning research designs with innovative tools and technology to deliver impactful, actionable insights that keep our clients ahead of what’s next.

Expert in all areas of research design, implementation, analysis, and reporting, Harris Interactive has particular strengths in brand, new product development, customer and employee research.

Working internationally, our activities span both consumer and business-to-business markets.

At Harris our legacy, expertise and relationships made us who we are but technology drives our future and speed of delivery allows us to anticipate challenges. In short, we enable our clients to make impactful decisions faster.

Charities/Voluntary, Computers – hardware, Drinks (Alcoholic), Drinks (Non-alcoholic), Electrical Goods, Energy, Entertainment – in home, Entertainment – out of home, Finance/Investment – Business, Finance/Investment – Personal, FMCG – General, Food, Gambling/Online Gaming, Home Entertainment, Information Technology, Insurance, Interactive Entertainment, Internet/New Media, Media (Broadcast), Media (Mobile), Media (Print), Retail, Sport/Leisure/Arts, Telecommunications, Toiletries/Beauty Products, Travel/Tourism, Wellness/Fitness
Access Panels, Advanced Statistical Techniques, Consultancy, Custom, Online Communities, Online Results and Data Portals, Online Surveys, Panels, Questionnaire Design, Report Writing, Tabulation & Analysis
Advertising, Analytics, Brand/Branding, Business-to-Business, Communications/PR, Concept Testing, Consumer, Customer Communities, Customer Loyalty, Customer Satisfaction, Employee Research, International, New Product Development, Online Panels, Packaging/Design, Pricing, Product Testing, Usage & Attitude
Affluent, Digital Consumers, Hard-to-Reach, High Net Worth, Mature/Midlife, Mothers/Parents, Single Parents, Women, Youth/Teens
Senior Contacts

Pete Cooke (Sales & Marketing Director)
Susan Vidler (UK Managing Director)

Breakdown of Personnel

Admin/Support staff: 10
Executive/Research staff: 60
Total Number of Employees: 51 to 100

Address

Ealing Cross
85 Uxbridge Road
Ealing
London
W5 5TH
Tel: +44 (0)20 8832 1600
Email: info-uk@harrisinteractive.co.uk
Establishment date: 1963

International Address

Harris Interactive
5, avenue du Château
Vincennes
94300
Tel: + 33 1 44 87 60 30
Fax: + 33 1 44 87 60 31
Email: info@harrisinteractive.fr

Harris Interactive AG
Tegernseer Landstraße 138
München
81539
Tel: +49 (0) 89 666 660 880
Fax: +49 (0) 89 666 660 889
Email: info@harrisinteractive.de

Will consumers be more tempted by luxury chocolate brands?

With the anniversary of the sugar tax this last season, changing consumer trends are having an impact on confectionery brands, according to the latest hi brands research from Harris Interactive

Consumers have always wanted to have their cake and eat it, and this is especially true when it comes to the confectionery market. Following last year's sugar tax on soft drinks, calls are growing for a 20% levy on chocolates and sweets, and a complete ban on price promotions. 

Yet increasing interest in healthy and sustainable eating hasn't spoiled the appetite for sweet treats.

Tastes are instead becoming more discerning. According to the latest hi brands* research from Harris Interactive, premium brands such as Godiva and Hotel Chocolat are fast catching up with traditional favourites in the popularity stakes – and growing demand for finer treats will continue to send the industry in a more artisan direction. 

So, are chocoholics simply hungry for something new, or are they beginning to prioritise quality over quantity; and what does this mean for future confectionery sales?

A little piece of luxury

From clearer nutrition labels to leaner school lunches, sugar is a major global food and drink topic. Confection producers are well aware of rising health concerns and the struggle against obesity; Cadbury's recently launched 30% less sugar bar being a prime example. But in spite of these attempts to move with the changing tide, the ‘less but better’ trend isn't just about sugar – quality is vital too.

While many top rankers in the hi brands study were also sugar reducers – Lindt’s no added sugar line is already boosting profits – brand management was among the key factors that set them apart. On brand equity measures, consumers ranked Lindt, Hotel Chocolat and Thornton's high above old favourites such as Heroes and Quality Street.  

For today's consumers, what matters most isn't necessarily low-sugar levels; they want treats that feel decadent. Unique goods that justify their larger price tag with luxurious quality are becoming the preferred option for buyers in search of a better value exchange. And brands that market goods as indulgences, rather than everyday snacks, are reaping the rewards.

Chocolate for change 

Consumers are not only voting with their wallets for goods of higher quality, they are also taking an ethical stand – international research shows environmental impact influences purchase decisions for 37% of buyers, and 83% think eco-friendly product design is important. So, it’s no surprise that confectioners leading the sustainability charge are tipped for long-term success.

Lindt, Godiva and Hotel Chocolat – which championed the use of biodegradable cellulose wrapping for this year's Easter Eggs – earned the top three future relevance scores in the hi brands survey. Established names may currently be the most familiar to consumers, with Quality Street achieving the highest knowledge ranking, but disruptive premium brands with an eye on environmental issues are poised to substantially enhance their market share. It's clear that minimal impact will be central to the prosperity of tomorrow's confectioners.

A customised concoction 

The value of buzz should never be underestimated. Standing out in a competitive industry means capturing consumer attention and, once again, premium companies excel in this area. High-grade producers emphasize building strong consumer bonds by encouraging interaction and including elements of co-creation in the path to purchase. Thornton's, for example, is known for stimulating hype around holidays such as Christmas with personalised offerings.

These initiatives bring a marked advantage. Thornton's and Hotel Chocolat outrank traditional brands on the essential pillars of brand excitement and community, driving corresponding high performance on the greatest marketing outcome of all: trust. Confectioners seeking lasting loyalty should therefore embrace customisation that fuels personal identification and sales.

While sweet-jar staples won't be disappearing yet, consumer attitudes are undeniably shifting as the hi brands findings prove. Environmental and health concerns may be affecting buying choices, with consumers willing to pay more for brands they view as both high-quality and responsible. 

Confection is on track for greater premiumisation and, as unique brands increase their power to tempt consumers, adaptation to these new tastes will be essential to stay relevant and maintain sales.

*The hi brands study from Harris Interactive measures brand sustainability across penetration, equity, future relevance and vitality for a wide range of popular brands.

Source: International Confectionery Magazine

"We have enjoyed a strong working relationship with Harris Interactive for a number of years, and this hasn’t happened by accident. Through their flexibility and thoughtful account management, they have always been able to design solutions which take into account the practical realities of our business. Above all, we have benefited from responsive, flexible and attentive service and an account team that ‘just gets it’, giving me the assurance that we can always trust them to come up with answers and to deliver reliably." Global Financial Services Brand

"PackTest Express was the perfect solution for our product development and stakeholder management needs. It allowed us to quant test simultaneously several pack formats as well as a couple of different designs early in the development process in order to get quick and robust answers to our questions. It was really easy to set-up and the online platform made it very simple to follow the KPI’s in real time. We would definitely consider using PackTest Express again in future key innovation projects." Global FMCG Brand

"We have worked with Harris Interactive over the years.  We now have an insight community managed by the team using their expertise in both research and community management. The community enables us to ensure our customers are central to our decision making.  The team understands our business and they leverage the community, and other approaches, to deliver quick and cost-effective research insights. They advise us on how to best engage with our community and are always on standby for any advice and urgent questions. The team members individually are great and very knowledgeable. I see them as an extension to our team." Global Tech Firm

“[Concept Express]...has been exactly what I needed – robust quant validation, that helped answer a couple of questions, but didn’t take ages or cost a fortune. I will definitely be in touch again when we’re in the next round of new concept work.” Global Drinks Brand

“We partnered with Harris Interactive to gather market and customer insight to feed into new product concepts. We had some tight deadlines - the speed at which the Harris team were able to turn the whole project around was phenomenal. They helped us pull together a survey, using their expertise in the topic to advise us on language and gave us access to their analytics tool as well as providing a write up. The tool is straight forward to use and very powerful – giving you the ability to cut the data how you need in a matter of seconds. The team were extremely flexible, we were testing and iterating concepts as we were going and they moderated the community really well to ensure we got the answers we need. The findings of the research gave us a clear direction for the products we were testing.” SparksGrove

PackTest Express enabled us to evaluate 8 packaging concepts, extremely quickly, on our relevant KPIs and identify the winning pack.  This standardised solution offers significant flexibility.  We were able to achieve our goals, with agility, and with the expertise of Harris Interactive’s team. International Skincare Company 

"Timing is paramount in a fast-paced industry like public relations and the up-to-date insights we receive from Harris 24 are invaluable for keeping our clients ahead of the curve… Using its powerful combination of in-depth analysis and detailed sector expertise, we are able to extract and interpret accurate insights that drive impactful strategies… It’s an indispensable antenna that picks up, filters, and cuts through the buzz.”  

“Concept Express was quick, efficient and sufficiently flexible to suit our requirements. The online real time system was a good way to engage our stakeholders and excited real interest in the project. It raised the profile of research internally and challenged – positively – expectations of what could be delivered by when.”  UK High Street Bank

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