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Does Sensory Profiling Count As Consumer Market Research

sensory profiling

Sensory testing or sensory research has long been an essential part of being a successful product to market. However, there are many misconceptions about this product research methodology. 

Many people believe that sensory profiling comes under the umbrella of consumer research, but that isn’t true. Rather than have would-be consumers participate in sensory research, it’s almost always carried out by trained professionals. 

So what’s involved in sensory research, and sensory profiling in particular? 

What is Sensory Profiling? 

In terms of methodology, sensory profiling is similar to taste testing. However, rather than having consumers taste your products, sensory research involves submitting your products to trained sensory panellists with higher than average sensory acuity. They are highly-trained experts that can detect even the most subtle changes of flavour or taste. 

For the most part, brands use these individuals to establish a baseline of specific parameters (known as a sensory profile) before returning with new formulations to measure how recipe changes alter their sensory profile. Brands can also use them to gain insights into differences in sensory profiles between their products and those of competitors. 

This research methodology is far more objective than consumer taste testing because the trained testers have no inherent biases. They merely state their expert observations, which are then relayed back to you for analysis. 

Is Sensory Profiling Consumer Research? 

As you might have gathered, no, sensory profiling does not count as consumer research. No consumers are solicited in the creation of a product’s sensory profile. Instead, the participants in sensory research are highly trained individuals that know how to report their findings in an objective and scientific manner. 

Sensory panellists use their knowledge and experience to distinguish products based on their sensory attributes such as taste, smell, texture, or flavour. A typical layperson (a potential consumer) would not be able to deliver these kinds of insights. 

Thus, contrary to popular belief, sensory profiling is not considered consumer research, even though it’s conducted on the vast majority of consumer products. 

Choose an Industry Leader in Sensory Research for Your Brand 

As you can now appreciate, the quality of the sensory profile you receive for your product heavily depends on the skills and expertise of the sensory panellists carrying out the sensory testing on your products.

We have developed an industry-leading panel at WSS that has become a go-to resource for many leading UK and international brands. With sensory insights they can trust, we help brands develop gold-standard products that increase market share and leave competitors behind.

So if you would like to enlist the help of one of the UK’s leading sensory panels to gain a competitive edge, ensure consistency, and increase consumer acceptance rates, then make sure to contact us today. We work with both startups and established brands, and we have over 20 years’ experience in this particular field. 

Call us today on +44 (0)151 346 2999 or email us at to discuss your sensory research requirements with a member of our friendly team.