When developing a market-leading food or beverage product, you must gather all the data you can to ensure success. While you might well spend time on packaging research and get focus groups together to help refine your product, you should also pay attention to flavour and texture.
Without objectively measuring your finished product, you’ll never be sure you’re developing a product that will hit the mark with consumers. Since taste is such a huge part of product acceptance, it’s only right that you’ll want to conduct a sensory taste test (or several) to truly understand how your new product tastes in the eyes of your consumers and how it compares against your competitors’ offerings.
What is a Sensory Taste Test?
A sensory taste test is, as it sounds, a test to determine the sensory properties of your product. You might measure how it tastes, how it feels in the mouth, how it smells, and how the texture performs so that you can understand where it’s going right or wrong and what you can do to improve it.
You can choose to test your products based on specific parameters, or you can decide to base it entirely on consumer preference.
Generally speaking, sensory taste tests are carried out by trained assessors who will be guided by a research company such as Wirral Sensory Services regarding which elements to assess. Whether it be odour, texture, flavour, or any other factor that feeds into the taste of a product, the assessor will be instructed to objectively record their observations.
It’s common to subsequently rerun these tests with leading competitor brands, so you have an objective comparison to make and can look for areas of deficiency or strengths in your product development.
Taste testing can also be carried out by members of the public from your target demographic to receive more subjective feedback in neutral settings. Their insights can point to opportunities or problems you might not have considered in your initial tests.
When working with Wirral Sensory Services, you will have your results broken down into jargon-free language that you can easily interpret and understand. With your actionable insights, you can then choose to either develop the product further or make the necessary adjustments to ensure it meets the market’s expectations.
Sensory taste tests often form part of the product benchmarking or product optimisation process, whereby a new product is developed and tested throughout its development cycle against its key competitors to ensure that the final product has a competitive advantage in the marketplace.
Since 1997, we’ve been trusted by leading British and international brands to handle their sensory research needs. We have one of the largest and most experienced pools of trained sensory panellists in the UK for conducting qualitative and quantitative market and product research projects.
Whether you need the objectivity of high-acuity testers or the lay perspective of the general public to understand your market better, we can help you identify opportunities for improvement using a range of techniques tailored to your product and your budget.
To speak to us today regarding your next sensory taste test project, please contact us on +44 (0)151 346 2999 or fill out the online contact form on our website.