Sensory 101 - Product Evaluation

'How can I run an effective internal sensory evaluation?' 

This question pops up regularly, most often when there are different business functions (Procurement, Marketing, Technical) attending a taste session. Time and time again informal tastings lose sight of the objective, become sidetracked with unrelated discussions or everyone ends up just agreeing with most senior person at the meeting.

Sound familiar?

For an internal evaluation to be successful and uncover meaningful insights, a simple framework should be followed. Doing so will maintain focus and ensure everyone's taste buds have an opportunity to have their say!

Here are my top 5 tips for running an effective sensory evaluation.

How can this be tackled?

  1. Begin by clearly articulating the objective(s) of the evaluation.
  2. Highlight and define the key attributes that you want to focus upon - use words and product examples to demonstrate scales.
  3. Instruct each evaluator to systematically work through the Appearance, Aroma, Flavour and Texture of the products - without interacting with other evaluators.
  4. Once complete, discuss as a group each attribute to gaining consensus of how the product is percieved.
  5. Re-visit the objective(s) and define the next stpes for the project.

By following this simple framework, your product discussions will become more meaningful, you will address project objectives with more clarity and your projects will proceed quicker.

Good luck, let me know how it goes!