On April 26, 2019, around 20 Japanese professionals with different backgrounds participated in our sensory workshop in Tokyo.
People came to the sensory workshop with various degrees of sensory research knowledge and industries such as marketing research agencies, fragrance, and printing companies. One participant said, “I do not know what sensory research is, 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
We went through the basics of sensory evaluations in the workshop, such as sensory attributes and test requirements. We also explained sensory methods such as the forced-choice discrimination test and descriptive analysis.
We confirmed that starting with the basics of the sensory evaluations helped to have everyone on the same page. No one dropped out of the workshop even we explained 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 something new among consumer researchers who have never used the method yet. Furthermore, several participants expressed their interests in the panel recruiting, training, and validations in Japan. Therefore, we plan to conduct some follow-up workshops on this topic.
Sensory Game - How close, or different?
We had Sensory Game: a triangle taste test during the break time to find out one different snack from three snacks. Then, 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 correct answers.
Sensory Approaches to Broader Areas
The workshop was worth confirming 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 create inspiring experiences for people through products and services in Japan and from Japan to other countries.