Direct Mail Testing is the Same as Testing the Crispness of French Fries

July 5th, 2018 by


I read an article in the NY Times this week about the testing process that Lamb Weston, the largest company producing French fries, has been doing with regard to the crispness of French fries received upon delivery and it reminded me about the same rigors of direct mail testing.

We all know that French fries is a staple of life and there is nothing worse that soggy fries accompanying a meal. The challenge for Lamb Weston has been to create a crisp, tasty French fry that will stand up to the rigors of food delivery services, like Uber Eats.

To do this, Lamb Weston has been diligently testing the way the potatoes are cut, fried, what kind of batter holds crispness best, how delivery companies stack foods as well as the actual delivery container itself.

Through its’ testing process, the company has learned that a particular type of batter produces a longer lasting fry that can stay crisp for up to an hour, even if microwaved to reheat at home.

The testing process also found that lightly folded paper bag is a far better container that any other type.

Long story short, their diligent testing methodology has come up with the solution to soggy French fries.

Let’s segue to Direct Mail testing.

When we test direct mail, we may be testing offer options against each other, the same way Lamb Weston tested batter types. Sometimes finding the winner takes several tests.

Testing which photo is more compelling in a focus group situation is the same as using a panel of French fry chewers to determine crunch-appeal.

In Direct Mail Testing, the envelope/package is the same thing as testing the delivery container.

In Direct Mail Testing, who is receiving the delivery is the same as testing the audience, the actual mailing list itself.

Testing is testing. You can’t get away from the fact that the only way to truly know what works is to test it. Once you get the formula, or in the case of French fries – batter, right – your end product will be successful.

For more info on the testing of French fries for crispness:

BTW – New Movers are one of the hottest market segment for meal delivery!

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