The paper discusses the application of sales prediction techniques to new product development in Latin America. It shows that in packaged goods product fields, both of the two mainstream methodologies, the Laboratory Test Market exemplified by SENSOR, and the concept/product test exemplified by MicroTest, deliver very similar consumer responses in the Latin American context as those found in other markets, notably Europe. This gives confidence in the validity of the consumer data. The problems lie more is obtaining accurate measures of market size, distribution and consumer purchasing due to the incomplete coverage of retail audit and consumer panel services. The extension of prediction techniques to durables and services, implications for the Latin America context, are also discussed.
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