January 16, 2020
by ISR
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Reflecting on 20 Years of Sensory Research

We’re celebrating 20 years of sensory research and – would you believe it? – that makes us an old-timer in this industry!

So, of course we have to reflect on the last two decades at ISR. What’s changed in sensory research and what might be in store for the next 20 years?

Here are our observations about how sensory research has evolved, at least from the ISR perspective!

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November 12, 2019
by ISR
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5 Tips for Choosing a Panel Operations Partner

So many of our clients have their own sensory panels or want to build their own panel, but building and managing sensory panels can be a burden on already-overworked research teams. That’s where a panel operations partner comes in, but how do you choose the right one for your organization?

Here are a few thoughts on what to look for in a sensory panel management company:

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October 22, 2019
by ISR
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Hybrid Descriptive Analysis: the Basics

Need to know how your product is different than the competition? We use Hybrid Descriptive Analysis to answer this question.

It identifies attributes and characteristics that are meaningful to the product developer for your product category.

We use our trained sensory panel to test the product. Training is led by a sensory expert, and continuous feedback is provided to the panel. Because it is product focused, panel training is shorter than with other methods.

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October 2, 2019
by ISR
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Sensory Research in Action: Category Appraisal for Salsa

Our client wanted to understand product deficiencies (identified in a prior study) for their salsa product versus key competitors. Four prototypes were developed to address these deficiencies and push out the sensory space. Because the competitive set is so diverse, we also wanted to achieve a holistic understanding of the entire category.

We used Category Appraisal to address this challenge. Category Appraisal combines consumer product testing with detailed product characteristics (from a descriptive panel), providing actionable results for product developers.

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September 18, 2019
by ISR
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Sensory Research in Action: Descriptive Analysis of Medicinal Oil

Our client wanted to determine whether any sensory differences exist between the Control and Test samples of their Medicinal oil. The test sample utilized a masker to address an off-note in the Control.

What We Did

We utilized Descriptive Analysis and our panel of trained sensory experts, each with 7-10 years of experience to analyze the two products.

A lexicon was created based on the Control and the Test sample with masker. A lexicon is the language that is typically used to describe the product’s attributes.

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September 11, 2019
by ISR
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Flash Profiling: The Basics

Need to quickly understand the whole product set in your category? We use Flash Profiling to answer this question.

Flash Profiling is a fast analysis tool for understanding the relative positioning of products and to get a perceptual map of the product spaces.

We use our trained sensory panel to evaluate the product. All the products are presented together and panelists create their own attributes.

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August 26, 2019
by ISR
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It’s clear…the tide is turning in laundry.

How do color and fragrance attributes influence the perception of an efficacious laundry detergent? We recently explored this by combining consumer qualitative and quantitative research methodologies with flash profiling conducted by a trained descriptive panel. The results are illustrated in our Pangborn 2019 poster.

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August 21, 2019
by ISR
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Sensory Research in Action: Descriptive Analysis and Manufacturing Changes

In this case study, our client needed to qualify additional manufacturing lines in order to increase capacity on the production of chewable vitamins. Providing additional capacity was essential to delivering on order commitments.

Most importantly, given the volumes of the business, we had to ensure that this change would not impact the sensory characteristics of the chewable vitamins and risk alienating our client’s current users.

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August 12, 2019
by ISR
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Looking for more from your Sensory Panels?

You’re probably familiar with our standing descriptive and discrimination panels (if not, click here), but did you know that we also offer semi-trained consumer panels and in-context panels? Lately, these panels are very much in demand as manufacturers seek deeper insights into product usage and experiences.

Here’s the 101 on these panels:

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July 10, 2019
by ISR
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How to Use Sensory Research to Explore New Sweeteners

The future looks bright for Tate & Lyle’s low-calorie sugar, Allulose. “Ever since the FDA decided to exclude Tate & Lyle’s super low-calorie sugar, Allulose, from the total and added sugar declarations on the Nutrition Facts panel, manufacturers across categories have been clamoring to learn how the ingredient might help them meet growing consumer demand for lower-calorie and lower-sugar products.” (FoodNavigator-usa.com)

At ISR, this is a common request from our clients. There’s a need to make an ingredient change – sometimes driven from a cost perspective, other times because the ingredient offers new marketing opportunities or responds to consumer demands — in any case, our clients are concerned about altering consumer perception of their product.

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