This time last week we were lucky enough to be at the PFSG Conference. Hosted this year by our colleagues at Leatherhead Food International, once again we had a really enjoyable and informative day with the opportunity to meet up with old friends, make new contacts and listen to a fantastic range of presentations and posters.
To open, Hal MacFie gave us serious food for thought describing and contrasting slow and fast decision making strategies as described by Nobel prize winning psychologist Kahneman. Hal pointed out how our questionnaire design may push the consumer more towards one strategy than the other. The more questions we ask, the more rationale, slow thinking we will be evoking…Hal suggested that we should think carefully about which strategies we want our respondents to be using and design accordingly.
In the second part of the presentation Thierry Worch of QI Statistics, described how R software is being used to analyse the frequency, content and sentiment of Tweets to provide a source of free sensory and consumer insights.
Finally, Hal discussed Napping and the value of this Rapid Profiling Technique in the sensory scientist's tool kit, particularly when time and money are limited. It was a useful reminder that whilst the process of Napping uses only two dimensions, the analysis can recover more than two because different respondents focus on different attributes when grouping their samples.
Erminio Monteleone continued the theme with a fascinating review of sensory and consumer research papers published over the last few years. He showed us that interest in Rapid Methods, particularly Napping and Flash Profiling, remains high as it is in TDS and CATA. Erminio predicts that these areas will be the key focus for method development and application in the near future, together with emotions. The need to maximise discrimination in emotions research by using product specific lexicons and questionnaires was discussed.
This year for the first time the day included an oral poster session: six against the clock, five minute presentations from new and established Sensory Scientists – we heard about Thermal Tasters; Napping of sparkling wines: novel approaches to threshold measurement; flavour impact compound determination by difference testing; the use of free sorting, and how manipulating salt particle size can influence salt taste perception.
After lunch we participated in two workshops. The Panel performance session gave a very useful comparison of all the current software tools, Senpak2, Fizz, PanelCheck, Compusense. The second workshop explored the Kano satisfaction model and had us all scratching our heads as to the attributes we would want in a new skin care cream as well as giving a useful description of the Ideal Profile Method.
To end the day we heard from David Berry of Conquest UK. Picking up on some of the issues raised by Hal earlier, David reminded us of the vital role played by emotion in decision making and how much conventional research only measures conscious, rational behaviour. fMRI and EEG Methods can tell us about emotion but have not found a stand-alone role in Market Research. Why? As well as the practical, David argues primarily because emotions only mean something once they become feelings. Up until that point they exist merely as arousal. So we need techniques such as facial coding, implicit association tests and metaphor analysis that can tap into the measurement of true feelings before they are overly influenced by rational behaviour and which bring Market Research closer to the emotional.
Thank you to everyone who contributed to the day. If you would like to find out more about any of the topics discussed then please get in touch.
We are hosting a Workshop on Rapid Methods on 20th June in Reading if you want to learn how implement Napping, Flash and Free Choice Profiling in your business. For more information on the Workshop please Contact Us.