Carman's Fine Foods

How Carman's Fine Foods uses customer intelligence to build brand lovers

46% average response rate

1,100 sample size vs. 500 for traditional research

21 studies in just seven months


In 1992, when she was just 18 years old, Carolyn Creswell bought a little Australian muesli business for just $1,000. Fast forward to today and the Carman’s range is now available in all major supermarkets across Australia, as well as being exported to many countries around the world.

Fast Facts


Consumer goods



Customer Experience

Insights professionals

Product Managers

Use case:

Product innovation

Business Outcome:

De-risk decisions


While innovation is at the heart of Carman’s, the philosophy remains the same: real food made with real passion. Carman’s Kitchen Table insight community started in mid-2016, and already engages nearly 3,000 passionate consumers. Their community allows the business to become closer to the consumer to ensure they are always top of mind during everyday brainstorming and decision making.

The Carman’s Kitchen Table ‘Surprise and Delight’ program is a key engagement initiative. Members are heavily involved throughout the innovation process, and in recognition of their contribution the program focuses on providing exclusive access to new product announcements and samples. In early 2017, Carman’s identified their top 226 most engaged contributors and sent them a surprise pack containing the company’s newest product launch, before it hit supermarket shelves. It was the company’s way of acknowledging members’ “superstar” efforts, by granting them a first try of the product. In total, Carman’s has sent out over 1,500 Surprise and Delight gifts in its first year and members often share their excitement about being the first to try.

The Carman’s brand has a distinct tone-of-voice and personality that has been carried over to Carman’s Kitchen Table and is applied to all member experience touchpoints. From invitations and surveys to share backs and prizes, members are made to feel like they have taken a seat around the Carman’s kitchen table. Traditional research questions are often embellished with a cheerful tone or image to make surveys more engaging for members. Bespoke hampers are created for each monthly prize draw winner, with favourite products and dietary concerns taken into consideration. With the story of founder Carolyn Creswell being well-known throughout Australia, she is often incorporated into communications to reaffirm the company’s appreciation of its loyal and dedicated members.

Carman’s has strong brand loyalty – their consumers feel connected to a genuine brand who put care & thoughtfulness into everything they do. The Carman’s Kitchen Table community fits perfectly as the centrepiece of the puzzle. The number of studies launched has increased from the traditional two to three per year to an incredible 21 studies in just seven months, with an average response rate of 46%. They have reached higher sample sizes as well—over 1,100 vs. 500 for traditional research. The community makes it possible for the company to hear the voice of the consumer, and the speed of feedback confirms its massive success. It’s now common for Carman’s to receive over 500 responses within a few hours of launching a study.

46% average response rate

1,100 sample size vs. 500 for traditional research

21 studies in just seven months

The consumer has always been at the heart of all we do at Carman’s and the community has given us a level of closeness and insight that we’ve never had before.

-Carolyn Creswell, CEO, Carman’s Fine Foods

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