Our client has moved their vitamin production. Based on the team tasting, the new flavors are considered an improvement from the original flavors. As such, the team would like to add a claim on the product to indicate that the taste has improved.
The study objective is to substantiate the following claim: “Improved Taste” or “New Improved Taste”, using prototypes with new flavors for all vitamins.
What We Did
We conducted Descriptive Analysis with our panel of sensory experts with data collecting using a t-test.
Samples were presented using sequential monadic design and blocked by flavor.
Panelists focused on flavor attributes, including acidity, tartness, and flavor character.
What We Learned
Here’s the visual representation of how the Peach vitamins compare to each other:
Our client would like to qualify gelatin from new suppliers but needs to be sure they can do so without changing the sensory profile of their bars. Additionally, the current gelatin source imparts a perceptible flavor in the finished product, which makes identifying a replacement source difficult.
The team is currently exploring several sources and blends in hopes of achieving a sensory profile as close to current as possible. The qualification will be made for a 50% replacement (Variant 1) and 100% replacement (Variant 2).
This study was conducted with our trained sensory panel. Samples were ranked in intensity for each attribute and scores were given on a numerical scale.
Mahalanobis Analysis was used to calculate the overall differences between the samples for the ranking test followed by an Analysis of Variance with LSD’s mean separation among attributes at 95% confidence level.
What We Learned
The Control Samples were similar in sensory profile with some differences noted in Nutty flavor, Metallic taste, Denseness, and Dry mouth.
The Variants were close to the Control ranges in flavor and texture attributes with differences found in malt flavor, nutty flavor, metallic taste, denseness, dry mouth and sweet aftertaste.
Both 50% and 100% replacements had minimal impact on the overall sensory profile and fell within the tested Control sensory variability.
The gelatin replacements did not change any key flavor notes or impart new flavor or off-notes. The noted differences are likely not noticeable to the consumer.
Our client wanted to measure sensory attributes for various time points for all flavors of their nutritional shake product line. They also wanted to develop a full descriptive profile for their Orange Pineapple nutritional shake.
We conducted the following tests and also created the lexicon for each of the flavors in the product line.
30 Days: Formula 1 v. Formula 1x, ANOVA data collection
60, 90, 120 Days: Formula 1x, Consensus data collection
6 Months: Formula 1x, Consensus data collection
T-test data collection
What We Did
We assessed Flavor, Aroma, Aftertaste, and Texture attributes at the 30-day and 6-month marks for each of the four flavors. Here’s an example of the aftertaste and texture attributes:
What We Learned
We identified how the sensory profiles changed over time for each of the flavors. Here’s an example of the Orange Pineapple flavor:
For common attributes, we determined that all products continue to deliver similarly for flavor, aroma intensity, aftertaste, and mouthfeel attributes.
Our client is launching a new grape-flavored chew. Concept test results show this idea has superstar potential, and this product might bring in new buyers to the brand.
Benchtop samples were developed and tested with consumers to identify if there were opportunities to optimize the product. Then, a batch of pilot plant trial samples was produced.
Usually, texture differences are observed in pilot plant samples when compared to benchtop samples, therefore our objective is to compare the sensory profile of the ‘benchtop’ samples with the ‘pilot plant trial’ samples and understand if there are differences and if any optimizations are needed.
We conducted Descriptive Analysis with our panel of sensory experts.
Data was collected using t-test. The t-test is a method that determines whether two populations are statistically different from each other.
Our lexicon training encompassed several attributes, such as aroma, texture in mouth, taste, flavor and aftertaste.
What We Learned
There are no differences detected between the Control – Benchtop and Test – Pilot samples. Here’s a typical chart we use to illustrate these findings:
Are you a sensory research team in need of an “overflow” testing panel? We can help! We offer both consumer and sensory research panels which are available for your use – whether that is for a single project or for an on-going need.
Many times, our clients have their own employee panels, but having an external resource can be helpful in meeting deadlines – especially when so many people are working virtually or when teams become overloaded and need to offload their overflow work.
We will execute to your testing protocol and provide the data in the format you require.
Here’s an example of a typical “overflow” project. This one is for our client who has their own employee panel, but needed assistance when their team was working from home:
Our client was interested in conducting a Pilot test for at-home application and 24-hour wear assessment of pain relieving patches before fully committing to at-home testing. Four of the six patches used in a Previous (on site) study were used in this Pilot test, so that results of the Pilot test could be compared to the Previous study.
Our objective was to compare the performance of patches applied and evaluated in the Pilot test (remote) for failure, adhesion, maceration, and residue against the performance of the patches in the Previous (on site) study.
What We Did
What We Learned
All measurements were comparable between the remote sensory research and the in-person sensory research findings:
time to failure
average wear time
Conclusions & Recommendations
We proceeded with the remote sensory research work and identified a critical success factor – training of panelists through small group sessions to ensure adherence to process and protocol.
Did you know that one key area for sensory research is around claims? Often, our clients utilize our research findings to be confident that they can make a particular claim in their marketing and packaging materials. This was the thinking in this case study with our client who manufactures throat lozenges.
Our client, a confectionery manufacturer, wanted to develop a milder version of their current product for consumers seeking low intensity lozenges. In addition, they wanted supportive data to make the “milder taste” claim on the product package.
We used Descriptive Analysis to evaluate 2 products — the original mint lozenge and the re-formulated mint lozenge. Our 12 panelists from a trained descriptive panel evaluated each of the lozenges in our Harrison, NY sensory booths. Training was held on key attribute intensities: Overall Total Impact, Overall Flavor, and Cooling. An Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) with Tukey’s means separation was used with 95% confidence level to understand attribute differences among samples.
Our findings indicated that our client could confidently claim that their new mint lozenge was milder in taste than the current product. Here’s an example of the data we provided:
One area that sensory research can help with is in understanding and quantifying product enhancements. In this case study, our client, a consumer healthcare manufacturer, wanted to improve the swallow-ability of one of its pills.
Our client wanted to renovate its Pill A Triple
Strength base business
by applying an easy
swallow coating to
all Triple Strength tablets. Difficulty in swallowing the pills is one of the top
consumer complaints on the Pill A business, due
to the large pill size of Triple Strength. A new coating technology allows for
an easier to swallow application and an overall enhanced consumer experience. A
flag will be included on front panel for about six months either referring to
“New! Easy Swallow Coating” or “New! Easier to Swallow Coating”.
The primary objective of this study is to understand if the new slip coating on Pill A Triple Strength makes the pills easier to swallow when compared to the Current Pill (A).
Our trained panelists participated in the Descriptive Analysis methodology. We looked at 5 key attributes that defined the experience of swallowing, and a t-test analysis at 95% confidence level was used to compare the Control to the Coated Prototype for each tablet size:
Surface Shine (None/Matte-High)
Off-note Intensity (None-High)
Slipperiness in the mouth (None-High)
Stickiness in the mouth (None-High)
Effort to Swallow (Easy- Difficult)
Our research determined that the new coating technology contributed to significant ease of swallowing of the pill. The New Slip Coated Prototype is significantly easier to swallow than the Control. Additionally, the coating provided a slippery smooth experience in the mouth and lowered off-note intensity. Here’s an example of the data we presented: