[Chicago Slices raw: Food Testing]

Raw footage for "Chicago Slices," a television series about life in Chicagoland. This video features a trip inside the market research firm of Peryam and Kroll. Videomaker Skip Blumberg interviews Jill Hoefler, food scientist, as well as Daniel Kroll and Beverly Kroll of the administrative office, and several research participants who taste test popcorn, ice cream, and salad dressing.

00:00Copy video clip URL The camera tapes the Peryam and Kroll sign outside the building. Videomaker Skip Blumberg follows a woman and her daughter into the office, and meets Tom Sawski, who gives an overview of how they are going to do the taping.

03:00Copy video clip URL Jill Hoefler introduces herself as a food scientist and explains what makes a good taste tester. She agrees with Blumberg that this is a way of becoming more sensory-aware. They walk into the “kitchen,” which is highly regulated because any small changes in temperature or humidity can affect the product, Hoefler tells Blumberg.

06:45Copy video clip URL Hoefler poses for some shots of her at work in the kitchen. Another staff person puts on a hairnet and gloves, introducing herself as a student and assistant food technician. They scoop out some popcorn into paper bowls, and label the bowls. Hoefler says that it’s cheese flavored popcorn, but they don’t know which company made it.

11:24Copy video clip URL Beverly Kroll explains that they have an extensive database of consumers, and that they typically look for average people who are the heads of household and do the shopping. She says that their work is “above board” and they conduct very stringent scientific research. Inside a conference room, Daniel Kroll talks about the current study, which calls for teenage male and female participants, and explains the potential exclusionary data.

13:01Copy video clip URL The participants in the study introduce themselves: Nikki Foley, Joanne Marzullo, Jennifer Demarco, Carrie Rizzo, Jim Peeka, Joy Kilpatrick, Jason Hernandez, Jeff Rizzo, Laura Sadowsky, and Jason Hamill. Blumberg asks them some questions about their interest in popcorn, and then speculates on how cheese popcorn became popular. Sawski stands in the doorway and explains that it probably went through a similar research process to get on the market.

17:45Copy video clip URL Blumberg asks the participants more about popcorn, and then asks them if they know the name of the kernels left in a bag of popcorn, saying that they’re known as “old maids.” Daniel Kroll adds that the shells of kernels that get stuck in your teeth are called “glooms.”

21:20Copy video clip URL Blumberg speaks briefly with Carrie Rizzo and Nikki Foley about ice cream.

22:58Copy video clip URL Blumberg interviews a woman sitting at her desk, a representative of the company. She explains that this business began with work in the army, and moved to the private sector in 1957. She says that the big trend in food production is a focus on low-fat, low-calorie, low-cholesterol items, because people are becoming more educated and interested in their own health. She says that they try to find products that will sell. The company attempts to predict which products will be popular, and the woman cites Nutrasweet as one example.

29:19Copy video clip URL Daniel Kroll sits at his desk and explains how they find the people who will participate in their market research. One way they screen people is by putting fictitious responses in their questionnaires. Kroll then explains that the testing area and the whole facility is under high security.

32:26Copy video clip URL Back in the kitchen, researchers pass out bowls of popcorn through small doors, along with a questionnaire and a glass of water. Blumberg interviews participants to get some feedback about the product. They all offer favorable reviews of the popcorn.

36:50Copy video clip URL Back in the kitchen, Hoefler gives each participant crackers to cleanse their palates between testing.

40:05Copy video clip URL Blumberg conducts interviews with children and some of the teenagers as they taste ice cream.

44:32Copy video clip URL Back in the kitchen, researchers prepare lettuce and salad dressing for the participants.

46:50Copy video clip URL Blumberg interviews taste testers of the salad dressing. They are: Ivy Freund, Ronald Trish, Michaela Antona, Sheila Walsh, Michelle Fortini, and John.

55:25Copy video clip URL Blumberg asks the woman in the office if it’s a problem if every reviewer hates the product. She says, “absolutely not” and further explains that it’s important information for the client to know. She explains that the goal is to have a product that is at par with control or better, saying that the control is typically the best-selling product currently on the market.

57:23Copy video clip URL Back into the taste testing area, a researcher sits down with a child and reads the questionnaire, recording the responses.

01:03:04Copy video clip URL End of tape.



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