Can You Tell the Difference Between Branded and Non-Branded Food? 6th Class Science Blast Project Part 1

6th Class took part in the ESB Science Blast in the RDS in February. Read this post and the next one to find out about our experiment and how we got on on the day at the Science Blast!

First, we had to prepare an experiment to display at the Science Blast along with over 100 other schools. We had discussed various ideas on what question we wanted to investigate, and came up with different options. We then voted on these. The question that most people wanted to investigate was ‘Can you tell the difference between branded and non-branded foods?’

We chose this experiment because we were interested in seeing if there really was a difference between branded and non – branded foods. We wondered if non-branded food might actually taste better than branded food. Another reason is because some people only eat certain food brands because supposedly ‘it’s better’ and we wanted to see if we could prove them wrong.

We know that everyone would most likely rather eat branded food, but maybe branded food doesn’t always taste better as we saw in the results of our experiment. It would help save the economy and save money if they knew which non-branded foods taste better, as branded food is usually more expensive than non-branded.

We then started work on how we would carry out the experiment. We had yet another vote about what food(s) we would use for our experiment. Cereal just barely won the vote, we almost chose biscuits but we decided cereal would be healthier! The class were all very excited to do this experiment and we started planning right away!

We decided we were going to experiment with 4th Class, 5th Class and staff members as they are older and should make for more accurate results.

We came up with different questions. We felt that if we asked about branded specifically, then this might lead our respondents, so we decided to ask them about which one they preferred, which one they thought was the most expensive, and which one was the best quality.

To set up the experiment, we got all the different types of branded and non-branded cereals and put them in colour-coded bowls. Each of us had a key with the different cereals in them so we would be able to analyse the results of the questionnaire properly.

We set up the four stations of cereals and took kids from different classes and blindfolded them. We divided into three different teams: the testing team, the questioner team, and the blindfolding an leading team. We then let them taste the cereals and, once we tested them, we asked them a series of questions to get the results. The reason we blindfolded them was because if they saw the cereals they were eating they might have a different opinion and skew the results of our test. We had the tests prepared on iPads. After each station we took them to one side and asked about that product, so that they wouldn’t forget their answers.

We tested four different types of cereal, with a branded option and two supermarket brands for each one. After we finished experimenting, we analysed the results.

Most people chose the branded form of Cheerios, much more than the rest of the cereals. Due to its high amount of sugar, we thought this might be why it was liked by lots of the children that we tested. However, even with these results, only 36% of people were able to tell which cereal was branded! Most people couldn’t taste the difference, so think about this the next time you go shopping!

Then it was time to write up our experiment, analyse our results, and display our information ready for the Science Blast! We worked really hard, as you can see from our display photos below!

Read our next blog post to find out how we got on at the Science Blast itself!