Great-tasting food products do not just appear out of thin air. Before a best-selling food or beverage product reaches the supermarket or retail shelves, it’s always subjected to sensory profiling and taste testing.
Sensory profiling is an essential part of the testing and development process of food and beverage products. It is an impartial research methodology that allows for a specific analysis of the sensory qualities of products by highly-trained experts.
So, how can sensory profiling help your brand?
A food product’s appearance, flavour, texture and odour largely determine its acceptability by the market. These attributes are crucial to the success of the product.
During the sensory profiling period, trained panellists quantify these attributes and assess them against crucial parameters. In doing so, they can help businesses create a balanced product that is more likely to be accepted by their target market. The sensory assessors do this by creating a specific sensory profile for your food product. You can then compare that sensory profile to new formulations and even competing products.
Taste testers, on the other hand, are often made up of a panel of volunteers who share their personal preferences. Whether they ‘like’ a product is useful, but it is not enough. A sensory panel comprises a pool of respondents who have a higher-than-average sensory acuity, and a greater ability to distinguish between different tastes and smells.
Sensory profiling is an impartial research methodology that can provide specific insights into your product. This makes it an essential part of food and beverage market research and development.
This sensory research allows you to create a unique product that is objectively different from those of your competitors. It uncovers the difference in attributes like taste and smell scientifically, rather than relying on an individual’s opinion.
Sensory profiling can also be combined with taste testing to give your product an edge. For example, sensory assessors can help you develop a sensory profile of a competitor’s product, which can be combined with taste tester’s opinions. This provides an opportunity to create a roadmap to a science-backed product that’s more than likely to win your target market’s approval.
Sensory profiling can also be used to monitor how changes in a product’s formulation affect its profile. The research can even be used to uncover quality issues in products too. This makes sensory profiling an invaluable part of high-quality product testing and development.