“ Type: Market Research „
Kantar World Panels, which until recently was known as TNS Panels, is a worldwide research company which I head of about eighteen months ago when I was looking at different ways to earn money on the internet. It seemed that the surveys it offered were a bit more diverse and interactive than most click surveys so I wanted to join. But if I remember correctly, you could not just sign yourself up, you had to put your details on to a kind of waiting list and I forgot all about it.
Then one day out of the blue, they sent me an invitation to take part in family food survey. I assumed it to be a one-off but just last month they asked me to take part again. They offered £15 in shopping vouchers for returning to them a completed fourteen day duration family food diary. Make no mistake though; the time taken to complete it easily earns the money.
You get a big fat diary which has the day broken down into several sections, breakfast, morning snacks, lunch time, tea time, dinner and afternoon/evening snacks followed by a section for food taken outside the home. There is also a section in the middle of the diary for meals eaten out and a little diary for snacks eaten out of the home which is supposed to be fitted in a pocket but you would have to be a giant for that to be true.
They also send you a several page tick box survey on eating habits and opinions that you and everyone else in the household can fill out for chances to win prizes. These only take a few minutes to do. There is also one extra survey for the panel member in the house and an opportunity for them to recommend participants.
What you then have to do is to record absolutely everything you eat and fill in the grids appropriately. Within the diary you are given the chance to specify some staple foods and their brandings and so on like tea and coffee but it is a great pity you cannot personalise this more.
The way you have to fill in the diary, detailing what was drunk or eaten, how it was cooked, how was it bought, who had it, why did you pick it and so on. This can be rather restrictive as often you run out of space or they ask questions like 'was this a snack meal?' which is totally down to one's interpretation or 'what time did most people eat?' which is tricky to answer because people eat at all different times so there's no majority. One of the most difficult things is putting the correct reason code for the choice of food and drink as the list is really not exhaustive and it would be nice if you could put other things asides from the options they give.
If you're tight for time, I might not recommend doing this, as it takes a fair amount of time to fill in and the money isn't that great but if you can give fifteen minutes per day to filling this in then it could be handy for a little spare cash, or vouchers in this case. I would probably do this a third time I think but I wouldn't mind doing something different next time.