Fake ham, electric cars and bees that make plastic – a story of an internship in market research

12th September 2018

Have you ever given a second thought as to why cooking paste is placed in the sauce aisle and not with the mixed herb section? Or how an Australian bee might be the answer to fully recyclable packaging? Before my time at ONE MS neither had I! It’s safe to say that being an intern in market research is definitely an eye opener, albeit to aspects of the world I never thought my eyes would be opened to.

Internships are always a bit nerve-racking; you really want to make it count as the clock ticks closer to graduation, and the age-old “what are you going to do with your life?” question becomes reality. If I’m honest, I was expecting to make some tea and maybe do some filing. However, my time at ONE MS was different. I got straight into the nitty gritty of projects.

I was mainly working on a plastic packaging project. Glamorous – right?! As I am quite a nosey person I found hiding behind a two-way mirror listening to people’s opinions on packaging very interesting. Although, this may have been aided by the snacks!

My main takeaway from this short time in market research is how integral research is to a product’s life cycle. There’s so much more that goes into the development of new products and packs than you would think. Behind every pack that gets to the supermarket shelf, there has been a team of people who have spent hours, days & months thinking about the smallest details.  What may seem like a 1 second decision for a consumer, is in fact, the end result of a carefully constructed marketing process. I will never be able to look at packaging in the same way again!

Ella Moody, Cardiff University Student