Sensory Science: The Art of Perception and Preference

At De Ruiter Seeds, our goal is to help protected culture growers bring a masterpiece to market every time. This is only made possible by steadily monitoring and predicting the most popular varieties among consumers around the world. That’s where Sensory Science comes into play.

What is Sensory Science?

Sensory Science is a branch of our Consumer Science R&D department that focuses on consumer perception. Our team relies on consumer testing to understand regional preferences for taste, texture, sight, smell and more.

 

Why Sensory Science?

By conducting consumer testing across the globe, we endeavor to learn about taste preferences to enable us to better predict what shoppers will want tomorrow. This process has enabled us to pinpoint specific attributes that are most important to consumers and supply varieties according to their preferences.

 

What does our process look like?

In 2018 alone, we conducted 45 studies covering 100 different varieties of fruits and vegetables* with consumers around the world.

We use external agencies to conduct quantitative testing with consumers (150+ subjects), gathering raw and genuine feedback. This feedback goes to a carefully selected trained panelist who rates as many as 40 attributes per sample. This data is used to create sensory profiles.

We also conduct internal qualitative studies with smaller groups that give us deeper insights into consumer perceptions and preferences

The information gathered from these qualitative and quantitative studies will enable us to deliver the flavor story of tomorrow’s leading varieties.

Our growers rely on us for seeds that meet them at the intersection of quality and quantity, where we optimize both flavor and yield. Through our Sensory Science program, we help to deliver on that expectation by providing data to continually breed future generations of seeds that can grow into delicious products consumers will enjoy time and time again.

 

*These studies were conducted across both De Ruiter and Seminis® Vegetable brands.
 
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