I was stopped at a local mall yesterday and asked to fill out a survey. I like to do this if I have time and it is something that interests me. It turned out to be a taste test. Apparently, Coke is set to release a new drink called "Vault" that will compete with Mountain Dew. I was asked to read an ad about Vault, then I tasted two different drinks and gave my opinion on them. I was specifically asked which one tasted most like what I expected based on the ad. My guess is that they have two formulations and are deciding which one to use.
This was the first time I've ever been part of a taste test, and I would have to say that I think the information they will gather is pretty useless. Personally, my drinking habits change with the weather, my mood, my meals, etc, so to make a decision as to which version to offer based on my comparison of a few sips of each seems ridiculous. Let me give you an example. I love sweet tea. The further south you go, the more restaurants that offer it. Here in Kentucky, about half have it. When I lived in Florida, about 90% of restaurants offered it. (I don't think I could ever live up North where they don't drink it) As much as I love sweet tea, sometimes I just don't want it. If someone caught me on one of those days and asked me to sample several versions of sweet tea and pick the one I liked best, it probably wouldn't be the one I ended up choosing long-term. It seems to me that if Coke really wants to do a good taste test, they should give me two cases of each kind of Vault, then tell me for the next three months I can order it free online, up to a case a week, and see which one I end up choosing. That would be much more accurate, and they could save all that paperwork.