May 31, 2016
by ISR
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New Sensory and Product Testing Facility

We are pleased to announce the opening of our new Sensory and Product Testing Facility in Harrison, New York. This state-of-the-art facility includes 23 food & beverage booths, 12 personal & home care booths, focus group & multi-purpose room and commercial test kitchen.

May 31, 2016
by ISR
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Meet Avishan

Avishan Amanat directs ISR. She has 15+ years’ experience in sensory & consumer research, specializing in descriptive and discrimination research. Prior to heading up ISR, Avishan worked in sensory sciences for an internationally-recognized consumer products company. With her extensive background in sensory science for manufacturers, Avishan brings a realistic and holistic perspective to the research process. She understands the product development cycle and applies rigorous methodology in designing and executing high-quality research. Avishan holds a B.S. in Nutritional Sciences and an M.S. in Sensory and Food Science from Rutgers, the State University of NJ. She is affiliated with Institute of Food Technologists, the Society of Sensory Professionals, and Cosmetic Executive Women.

May 31, 2016
by ISR
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What’s Color Got to Do With It?

We’ve all heard about the importance of color in marketing and branding and we probably have our own assumptions about what mood or tone each color brings. But, what does the research say? This article from Entreprenuer highlights the findings of several color studies, including color preferences by gender and misconceptions about color.  And, it reviews the importance of color naming (aka, why “we love mocha but hate brown”).

May 31, 2016
by ISR
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Category Appraisals

The purpose of category appraisals is to benchmark against competitors and identify sensory space and market gaps of a product category.  Here, some best practices to put in place on your next one:

The Do’s

  1. Discuss your business objectives and previous research findings with the
    research team. In addition to helping you understanding the scientific process
    and data analysis, the research team ultimately seeks to help you make strong
    recommendations that answer business questions.
  2. Diversify the sensory space by including products that represent a wide
    variety of sensory characteristics. This will help you to achieve a holistic
    understanding of the category and find product gaps and new product
    opportunities in the market place.
  3. Remember that Drivers of Liking are calculated within the space defined by
    the products included in the test. Therefore, it is a good practice to include
    at least one competitive product that you think may perform better than your
    product if you are looking for opportunities to improve your product.
  4. Use the same serving protocol for Consumers and Trained Panelists.
    Panelists may additionally test products in non-consumer ways (e.g., eating
    syrup without a waffle).

The Do Not’s

  1. Push the Trained Panel to profile on sensory characteristics that your team
    believes are important. The Panel Leader can address your concerns during
    training, but it is best to not bias the Panel.
  2. Schedule consumer testing and sensory profiling more than a couple of
    days apart. The age of the samples should be the same for Consumers and
    Trained Panelists.
  3. Include too many or too few products. The ideal number of products to
    include in a category appraisal is eight to fifteen.
  4. Include samples that are extremely divergent or that profile on the opposite
    spectrum from samples selected for category appraisal. The data extreme
    characteristics of the sample profile do not allow for good differentiation of
    other samples and can skew the data to one side.

May 31, 2016
by ISR
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A Comparison of Snack Bars Using Flash Profiling

Companies need to get to market faster. Shrinking product development time lines require quicker sensory methodologies with meaningful results to guide the scientist during the product development stages.

Descriptive Analysis is a qualitative and quantitative method widely used in sensory evaluation. However, it is an expensive and lengthy method which requires a consensual lexicon creation on the product category and training an expert panel on evaluation
procedures. This process could take weeks to complete depending on the type of product used.

Flash Profile is a quick sensory method that assesses the relative position of products. It is a comparative procedure derived from Free Choice Profiling where the panelist chooses his/her own attributes to evaluate a set of products and ranks them on the chosen descriptor.

Take a look at our poster to see what we recently did for the Snack Bar Category.