On April 26, 2019, around 20 Japanese professionals with different background came to to participate in our sensory workshop in Tokyo.
People came to the sensory workshop with various degree of sensory research knowledge, and various industries such as marketing research agencies, fragrance and printing companies. One participant said, “I do not know what is sensory research, but it sounds interesting!” Another person said, “I have been doing consumer research, but I would like to learn more about sensory evaluations.”
However, the participants had one common purpose: they wanted to know more about sensory evaluations and sensory research.
Basics of Sensory Evaluations, First
In the workshop, we went through the basics of sensory evaluations, such as sensory attributes and test requirements. We also explained sensory methods such as forced choice discrimination test and descriptive analysis.
We confirmed that starting with the basics of the sensory evaluations at the begining helped to have everyone on the same page. No one dropped out of the workshop even we explained about more specific contents including scale, attributes, and statistical techniques.
Descriptive Analysis Caught Interests
Of the workshop contents, Descriptive Sensory Analysis attracted the interests of the participants the most. Descriptive Sensory Analysis was received something new among consumer researchers, in particular, who have never used the method yet. Several participants expressed their interests in the panel recruiting, training and validations in Japan. We plan to conduct some follow-up workshop on this topic.
Sensory Game - How close, or different?
During the break time, we had Sensory Game: a triangle taste test to find out one different snack from three snacks. We served two sets of samples: Japanese potato chips and Kaki-no-Tane (柿の種).
The taste testing games glued the participants to find out the right answers.
Sensory Approaches to Broader Areas
The workshop was worthwhile to confirm how Japanese professionals are interested in sensory perceptions and how much they want to know more. Feedback from the workshop participants suggests potential applications of sensory approaches to broader areas. We hope that sensory research approaches will help interpret sensory stimuli that people intuitively receive. We also hope that they will help to create inspiring experiences for people through products and services in Japan as well as from Japan to other countries.