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Consumer and Sensory Evaluation Techniques: How to Sense Successful Products

Consumer and Sensory Evaluation Techniques: How to Sense Successful Products

Cecilia Y. Saint-Denis

ISBN: 978-1-119-40554-2

Feb 2018

208 pages

In Stock



Practical reference on the latest sensory and consumer evaluation techniques available to professionals and academics working in food and consumer goods product development and marketing

This unique manual describes how to implement specific sensory and consumer methods based on context and objective. Presented in a direct and straightforward language that will speak to the industry professionals and academics who are on the ground attempting to solve technical questions, it reviews, step by step, the various stages of a product evaluation. Included are practical examples from many industries that practitioners can relate to. The book also shows how to build a sustainable short-, medium-, and long-term product evaluation strategy, and guides readers on how to create customized methods, or even completely new approaches. 

Consumer and Sensory Evaluation Techniques speaks to management and decision-makers within organizations and addresses the main questions (eg: "How much will it cost?" and "How quickly can it be achieved?") that are faced when developing and testing new products before a launch. Chapters cover: the pillars of good consumer and sensory studies; sensory profile of a product: mapping internal sensory properties; the foundations of consumer evaluation; study plans and strategy—sustainable short, mid and long-term vision; real-life anticipation with market factors: concept, price, brand, market channel; and internal studies versus sub-contracting.

  • Uses examples from multiple sectors to show how to build a sustainable product evaluation strategy
  • Analyses the critical milestones to follow and the pitfalls to avoid
  • Supports the decision-making process while developing fast yet robust test strategies that will increase the likelihood of a product's success

Consumer and Sensory Evaluation Techniques is the perfect resource for students, faculty and professionals working in product development, including formulators and marketers.


Preface xi

Acknowledgements xiii

1 The Pillars of Good Consumer and Sensory Studies 1

1.1 Leveraging Existing Consumer Insight Prior to Building a Test Plan: What Do We Already Know? 1

1.2 Pillars of a Test Design 5

1.2.1 What Are We Testing? 5 Circumscribe the Test Product 5 Do We Test Blind or Identified Products? 8 How Is the Product ‘Dressed Up’: Packaging, Fragrance? 11 Experimental Design: Order of Product Presentation 13

1.2.2 With Whom Are We Testing? 16 Who Are the Competitors and Benchmarks? 16 Who Is the Target (Age, Gender, Socio]Economic Background, Users of and so Forth)? 18

1.2.3 Where Are We Testing? 21 Circumscribe the Geographical Region or Country 21 What Is the Impact of Local Culture? 23 Do We Test In]Home or in a Central Location? 24

1.2.4 When Are We Testing? 26 How Important Are Consumer Habits? 26 Is There Any Seasonal Impact? 27

1.2.5 Target Segmentation Principles: Do We Need to Define Different Consumer Cells? 27

References 28

2 Sensory Profile of a Product: Mapping Internal Sensory Properties 33

2.1 Origins of Sensory Evaluation 33

2.2 Definition of Descriptive Sensory Analysis 33

2.3 Existing Descriptive Methods, Advantages and Disadvantages 34

2.3.1 Quantitative Descriptive Analysis (QDA) 34 Main Characteristics of QDA 34 Discussion on Inter]Individual Variability 39 Discussion on Inter]Panel Variability 40 Variants to QDA 42 Typical Representations 42

2.3.2 Free]Choice Profile 49

2.3.3 Flash Profile 50

2.3.4 Spectrum 50

2.3.5 Time Intensity 51

2.3.6 Comparative Advantages and Limits in Each Method 52

2.3.7 Cost Considerations 54

References 55

3 The Foundations of Consumer Evaluation 63

3.1 Qualitative Consumer Studies: When We Are at the Stage of Proof of Concept 63

3.1.1 When to Take a Qualitative Approach? 63

3.1.2 Define the Test Design: With or Without Product Testing 65

3.1.3 Define the Market and Consumer Sample: Sample Size, Focus Groups or One]on]One Interviews 67

3.1.4 Define a Timeline 76

3.1.5 Analysis and Deliverables 77

3.1.6 Budget Considerations 80

3.2 Quantitative Consumer Studies: As We Get Close to Product Launch 82

3.2.1 When to Move Forward with a Quantitative Approach 82

3.2.2 Define the Test Design: One or Multiple Products 83

3.2.3 Define the Market 94

3.2.4 Define the Sample: Sample Size and Confidence Level 94

3.2.5 Define a Timeline 95

3.2.6 Analysis and Deliverables 96

3.2.7 Budget Considerations 108

3.3 Ethnographic Studies: In]Depth Exploration of Consumer Needs and Expectations 109

3.3.1 When to Conduct an Ethnographic In]Depth Study 109

3.3.2 Define the Market and Sample 110

3.3.3 Define the Test Design 110

3.3.4 Define a Timeline 111

3.3.5 Analysis and Deliverables 112

3.3.6 Budget Considerations 112

3.4 Additional Approaches to Detect Breakthrough Innovations: How to Assess the ‘Wow’ Factors? 113

3.4.1 Less Conventional Methods 113 Kano 113 Thurstone Scaling 116

3.4.2 Thinking Out of the Box 117

References 118

4 Study Plans and Strategy: Sustainable Short], Mid] and Long]Term Vision 123

4.1 Definition of Key Performance Indicators 123

4.2 Exploratory Phase 127

4.2.1 Use of Consumer Insight 128

4.2.2 Use of Sensory Evaluation 128

4.2.3 Use of a Qualitative Approach 130

4.2.4 Use of a Mini]Quantitative Approach 133

4.3 Confirmatory Phase 136

4.3.1 Use of a Quantitative Approach 136

4.3.2 Product Validation 137

4.3.3 R&D and Marketing Intertwined Roles 139

4.4 Necessary Reconsiderations and Back and Forth 139

4.5 Spin]Offs to Capitalize on Successful Products 140

References 141

5 Real]Life Anticipation with Market Factors: Brand, Concept, Market Channel, Price 143

5.1 Highly Challenging Markets 143

5.2 Blind Versus Identified Quantitative Tests 144

5.3 Specificity of Concept Tests 145

5.4 Notions of Modellization 147

5.5 Preference Mapping and Its Variants 149

5.6 Incorporation of Market Factors in Modellizations 151

References 152

6 Internal Studies Versus Sub]Contracting 155

6.1 Outsourcing: When and When Not? 155

6.2 Precautions When Outsourcing 157

6.3 Criteria to Select a Market]Research Company for a Specific Study 159

References 160

Appendix 161

Index 187