75% of our daily emotions are influenced by what we smell and what we taste. Yet almost all brand communication today is focused solely on what we see and hear. Great brands can be distinguished from a sea of competitors by aligning the right scents and flavors with the brand's personality. Sensory testing
makes that happen
As consumers, we typically have a good idea about how a brand or a product should be perceived, or how we believe it should taste.
Our perceptions are shaped by product design, color, graphics, names, promises, and marketing messaging. We know in a heartbeat if the taste or scent of a product accurately reflects what brand design, packaging, and messaging are telling us.
For marketers, the implications are clear:
Getting solid answers to these key questions is the role of sensory testing.
Sensory testing in two phases
Arylessence fragrance and flavor testing protocols follow similar pathways. Each happens in two phases, which are complementary and sequential, and each has different objectives, yet when viewed together, a consistent picture emerges that provides valuable data for marketing and planning teams:
(1) Panel testing with in-house experts – These experts are highly trained ‘noses’ and ‘palates’ who are trained to discern the quality, character and marketability of a fragrance or flavor without expressing their personal preferences. Assessments of sensory profiles reveal those that best fit the brand and product platform, as well as those that could be viable alternatives.
For many clients, this assessment perfectly addresses their objectives and ‘go’ decisions are made on the basis of this data alone.
(2) Consumer panel testing with outside participants – These are statistically valid tests conducted with consumers and potential users of the product in a controlled testing environment.
Most of these studies are conducted in Atlanta, one of the top five metro areas in the country that reflect the American mosaic. We have an extensive database of more than a thousand panelists classified by demographic attributes. Consumer responses explore ‘fit’ and alignment, as well as performance factors in real-life applications.
We have special expertise in conducting consumer testing for personal care, hair care, odor management (smoke, food, pet), laundry applications (from detergents to softeners), as well as beverages, confections, and spicy foods and seasonings.
‘Complete concept’ testing for fragrance
Consumer panels often are conducted as traditional double-blind studies.
However, we strongly encourage ‘complete concept’ testing in order to achieve the best possible results and to better indicate likely marketplace performance. In this environment, we reveal the product in its totality – concept, color, packaging, even name, promise, and messaging; everything that replicates the item that will be found on store shelves.
The consumer evaluates the totality of the concept – differentiated by fragrance alternatives. Fragrance fit, performance factors, and emotional connections are all assessed by consumers and users. Composite results are relevant and meaningful, and greatly assist decision making by R&D and marketing personnel.
Client 'test kitchen' trials for flavor
After our expert, in-house panelists have identified ‘best candidates’ for a flavor application, we strongly recommend final evaluation by sampling the food or menu item as prepared in the client’s test kitchen. This allows the flavor to be sampled using familiar and consistent techniques that reflects the reality of food processing, manufacturing, or restaurant operations.
We work closely with executive chefs and test kitchen staff to complete these sampling procedures.
Arylessence has achieved Safe Quality Food (SQF) Level 2 certification, and is recognized as an ethical sourcing supplier and manufacturer by the Safe Quality Food Institute (SQFI).
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