About

Our Story

Founded in 1990, The Institute for Sensory Research (ISR) is one of the most experienced and trusted sensory research organizations in the country.  We provide a comprehensive suite of sensory solutions, from client-site research and panel management to in-context and consumer sensory research to trained sensory panels.

Our methodologies address sensory research needs across the product life cycle, whether that’s flash sensory, sensory diagnostics or sensory benchmarking.

ISR is owned by Reckner, a U.S.-based market research leader providing healthcare fieldwork, facilities and market research services for 30 years.

We also partner with our sister company, Blueberry, a full-service market research firm specializing in marketing and consumer sensory research.  ISR and Blueberry often collaborate to bridge the gap between the consumer and sensory landscapes.

Our Approach

Partnership 

No matter what your sensory research goals are, we partner with you to complete the project on your terms.  We happily work within your established protocols, or we will design protocols specific to your project.

Flexible 

Our sensory solutions are designed to your specific needs. From creating specialty panels to re-training existing ones, from complex sensory to hybrid consumer-sensory research, our custom sensory solutions enable confident decision making.

Agile

We recognize the necessity of acquiring insights in a timely and efficient manner.  We work within your timelines and budgets to deliver agile research solutions that result in insights that are meaningful, powerful and actionable.

Accurate

We believe that quality sensory work depends on consistency in panel training, integrity in research design and impeccable research execution.  We combine these beliefs with personal attention and superior client service to deliver accurate results for confident decision-making.

Clients

Our clients include national and international manufacturers and providers in the food, beverage, personal care and household care industries. Please contact us for a client recommendation.

Meet Our Team

We’re an experienced group of market researchers dedicated to delivering meaningful, actionable sensory research. We invite you to begin a conversation with us.

David Reckner
President

David is President of Reckner, the parent company of the Institute for Sensory Research. David has 20+ years' experience in market research and has held several positions within the company. From part-time Mall Interviewer during college to Chief Information Officer, David's diverse responsibilities within the organization enable him to understand client and operational needs from multiple perspectives. Prior to leading Reckner, David was a manager in the music business, where he oversaw the production of more than 30 albums, 6 music videos and numerous concerts and tours.

Lisa McGurk
Vice President

Lisa directs the Institute for Sensory Research and its sister company, Blueberry.  She is a dynamic, entrepreneurial leader with a blended background of client, supplier and academic experience. With a passion for delivering real-world, actionable solutions, Lisa immerses herself in her client's categories to bring thorough yet innovative approaches to each research project. Thinking beyond the immediate research project, Lisa focuses her efforts on helping clients identify and deliver differentiated value to their consumers as part of their overall product offering. Lisa is highly-valued among her clients for ability to build a story from the data, which resonates with both researchers and other stakeholders.

Roni Dellacato
Research Manager

Roni leads the design, execution and analysis of all sensory research projects.  With 20+ years' experience in sensory and consumer product research, Roni has a comprehensive background, from training sensory and consumer panels to product guidance and field operations.  A thorough and creative researcher, Roni previously managed her own consulting firm and has worked in sensory and consumer project management roles for top food, beverage, and personal care companies in the industry.  Roni has collaborated with her clients on an array of sensory and consumer research initiatives, including new product introductions, ingredient replacements, cost reduction, and product improvements.

Gina Cassel
Senior Vice President

Gina Cassel is Senior Vice President for Research Facilities and Research Operations. Gina has more than 30 years' experience in the research industry, with extensive knowledge and expertise on the data collection side of the business, working with healthcare, pharmaceutical and consumer clients. In addition, Gina also spent several years working as a field director for a full-service, medically-focused research firm. Gina has extensive experience in both qualitative and quantitative research logistics which enables her to lead her teams in creatively and successfully completing projects for all of Reckner's clients.

Peter Grubb
Executive Director

Peter has more than 20 years' market research experience. Peter oversees business development and key client relationships, in addition to supervising the operations teams at several key locations. He has extensive experience in all modes of recruiting, field management, study execution and physical plant design. Peter provides high-touch service to his clients, taking the time to understand their unique situation and goals. This approach ensures a successful project and positive experience.

Claudia Parrington
Facility Manager

Claudia manages the Harrison facility and has worked in the market research industry for more than 20 years. With extensive experience across multiple research settings, Claudia has served in management roles in mall research, shopper labs and private research facilities. Her past responsibilities include facility execution for all qualitative and quantitative research, staff management, programming and database management.

Yvonne Vivo
Research Assistant

Yvonne brings nearly two decades of sensory research knowledge to her clients.  With experience as a Recruiter, Client Support, Technician, and Sensory Panel Leader, Yvonne understands all elements of sensory research, with extensive experience in panel training and management.  Her passion for sensory research is evident throughout her projects.  She approaches and maintains projects with exceptional attention to detail, and her professional, pleasant demeanor makes working with her a seamless process.  

Mely Llamas
Research Assistant

Mely provides operational expertise and excellence across all sensory research elements. A fifteen-year veteran of sensory research, Mely possesses a behind-the-scenes knowledge of study execution which makes her an invaluable asset to all of her projects and clients. She has extensive experience across industries and methodologies, and she is widely known and appreciated for her exceptional client service and attention to detail