My name is Ira Metzger, and in this post I will tell you how we, as a group, include the company’s employees in the product development process, so that every employee can effectively impact on the various products we manufacture.
Of course not every employee can be included in each development phase, but every person can certainly be provided with the opportunity to have an impact through the internal research that we perform.
What are sensory tasting tests all about?
Sensory research examines and analyzes the reaction of our senses (taste, smell, sight, hearing, and touch) as a result of various stimuli.
Stimuli may result from many sources, although the implementation of sensory research usually focuses on the study of sensory stimuli arising from consumer products among consumers. From the findings of this sensory research we can carve out the technological improvements required to improve the attractiveness of the product in the eyes of the target audience.
Sensory research has many uses, in both the development of new products and in marketing existing products, and it serves as a research tool that facilitates efficient and effective decision making for marketing, development and food engineers.
Internal tasting tests at Strauss
Intra-organizational sensory tasting research started at Strauss about five years ago. Up until then, internal tasting tests were carried out at a more limited scope, mostly outside of the organization at a relatively high cost.
Consumer studies inside the organization replace the need for external tests at the early development stage and enable us to examine whether the early versions of a product are, indeed , the “right direction”, namely a GO / NO GO – a basic filter in early product development.
In addition, the process facilitates quick and immediate activities, and of course confidentiality.
Some facts about our tasting tests:
• They are carried out in the following sites: Petach Tikva, Ahihud, Nazareth, Zerifin and Karmiel.
• 2 – 3 studies are conducted every week.
• These studies test our products, products under development and products of competitors.
• Most products submitted for tasting tests don’t bear the brand name, in order to neutralize any preferences or brand loyalty.
In my job, I am responsible for all internal research process: from setting the date of the study, writing a questionnaire according to research purposes, the actual running and summary results.
After the research I summarize all the answers provided, and in accordance with the conclusions I formulate recommendations for the development teams who commission the studies. According to the findings of the research I can tell whether they should reduce the sweetness of a product, enhance the strawberry flavor, etc..
Internal tasting research enables the organization to save about NIS 1 million a year.