We aim to develop products that not only deliver the nutritional benefits our consumers need, but also offer a pleasant product experience. This includes packaging, information given to consumers and sensory experiences during product consumption, as well as effects after ingestion.
Our sensory and consumer scientists use innovative methods to investigate our products, so we can better understand and predict consumer needs and preferences. The sensory and consumer research in our state of the art sensory facilities helps to identify which flavours, smells and formats deliver the highest consumer appreciation. Our research with consumers also provides insight into packaging optimisation.
How consumers experience our products is influenced by many factors, ranging from the five senses to the social aspect of eating together. Using sensory and consumer science, we support the development of innovative products that meet the needs of our specific target populations (e.g. babies, pregnant women, frail elderly, oncology patients and metabolic patients). Testing with different panels informs us about which products are preferred and the reasons why. This is important, because greater consumer appreciation contributes to better compliance.
Greater consumer appreciation contributes to better compliance.
STUDYING THE HEALTHY CHOICE
Within the Top Institute for Food and Nutrition, a public private partnership for interdisciplinary research, we are part of a consortium working to unravel how the (long-term) preference for certain foods is influenced by psychological, neurobiological and sensory factors. The research goal of this consortium is to develop new psychological methods that predict food choice and sustained, long-term preference and desire for specific foods. It is also directed at understanding the neurobiology of food preference and food aversion.
In addition, we have developed a network of experts on healthy eating habits and food learning aimed at the very young, to optimise our baby nutrition products and our advice to parents related to feeding their babies. We share our methods and research in international congresses, for example during a congress on the development of healthy eating habits.