Sensory research has become an essential part of the successful testing and development of food and beverage products. It has changed the nature of product testing for the better as it has allowed companies to have a clearer idea of how their products will fare in the market.
For years, companies primarily used market research and relied on what taste testers ‘like’ to determine the composition of their food products. With the food industry growing ever more competitive, individual’s opinions are no longer enough.
So, what can a sensory research company do for your brand?
What Is Sensory Research?
Companies need certainty that the products they bring to market will be appropriate for consumers’ tastes. This is where sensory research comes in. It relies on expert research methodology (not just the preferences of volunteer taste testers) to provide companies with more accurate product information.
We experience all edible products with our senses. This makes the balance between taste, texture, smell, and appearance critical for a product’s success. Sensory assessors are experts with an acute sensory range and understanding of product composition. Their research makes it possible for companies such as Wirral Sensory Services to create accurate sensory profiles that benefit food and beverage companies.
Why Is Sensory Research So Important?
Sensory research allows companies to produce products that are balanced, innovative, and more profitable. This research is vital for companies developing new products and for those with existing products on the market too.
New companies benefit from sensory research as it provides them with an opportunity to understand the composition of existing competitors’ products. This sensory profile can then be used as a guide to create a unique product that consumers will respond to positively.
Existing market leaders, such as Danone, have used sensory research to stay ahead of market trends. Before launching their Shape Delights dessert, Danone conducted sensory research as part of their overall market research.
The sensory panel assembled by WSS helped to provide analytical data about how similar low-fat products differed and how they could optimise the proposed Danone product to be more competitive. Combining sensory and consumer market research in this manner resulted in the successful launch of their product in what is a very competitive market.
Why Is Sensory Research So Important?
The types of sensory research include descriptive tests, temporal profiling, and quality control, to name but a few.
Descriptive tests give clients a comprehensive understanding of their product’s characteristics. This test is used to measure a proposed product’s sensory attributes, create, and compare prototype variants or compare competitor products. It is also utilised to determine the impact that changing ingredients have on the final product.
Temporal profiling tests the impact time has on specific product properties, like sweetness or bitterness. It monitors how a product is perceived at different time points to allow for the development of products that capture and hold consumers’ attention.
Effective quality control testing, on the other hand, allows companies to produce high-quality products that are consistent in appearance, taste, aroma, texture, aftertaste, and flavour. Consistency is an essential part of your product’s market success. Without it, clients won’t have a familiar experience to which they want to return time and again.
Why Choose Wirral Sensory Services For Your Sensory Research Requirements?
Sensory research is not a one-size-fits-all discipline. It involves extensive scientific and market research carried out by skilled professionals. That is why it is so important to have an experienced company like Wirral Sensory Services by your side.
We have 20 years’ experience in sensory research and have curated unique sensory profiles for leading food and beverage companies in the UK. Our experienced and skilled sensory research team allows you to carry out various research types that benefit you and your products.
These include but are not limited:
- Efficacy testing
- Taste testing
- Product optimisation
- Packaging research
- Focus group studies
- Children’s testing
We combine sensory profiling and market research to help our clients create consistent, high-quality products. Contact us today to develop a sensory research plan that will benefit your brand.