How Sensory Evaluation Can Provide Development Direction: An Approach

December 13, 2005 | Contact Author | By: Gail Vance Civille and Clare Dus, Sensory Spectrum Inc.
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Keywords: product development | descriptive analysis | principal component analysis | sensory | rub-out characteristics | afterfeel

Abstract: The authors explain how linking product sensory attribute documentation, through descriptive analysis panels, with consumer exploration through one-onone interviews, provides clear direction to product development. In addition it permits the product development team to track progress of the prototypes.

Product development often relies on sensory evaluation and consumer research guidance to direct the product development process - by identifying products that consumers want and need. With cosmetics and toiletries, the relationships that link the sensory properties of products to both consumer acceptance and consumer perceived benefi ts are thought to be more difficult to “get at” than in the product development of foods and home care products. This is because personal care products are marketed with glamour language that promises “beauty” and “youth” and consumers do not have very concrete language to describe the products or the effects of the products. Many of the attributes are integrated, combining both consumer language with descriptive language, for example “youthful” or “glow.” Sensory evaluation techniques can help tease apart the terminology and provide a deeper understanding of the sensory experience.