The Importance of Consumer Relevance, and How to Measure It

Dr. Benoit Rousseau
Senior Vice President
The Institute for Perception

Sensory and consumer scientists are interested in the degree of similarity, or dissimilarity, between foods, beverages, or personal care products. Since stimuli will never be identical, we need two fundamental tools:

  • A basic theory to generate standardized measures of sensory differences
  • An experimental approach to establishing the relative importance of the size of sensory differences

In this presentation, we will review Thurstonian modeling, a theory providing a structure to quantify the size of sensory differences. We will then use these ideas to establish the consumer relevance of sensory differences using the degree of difference and paired preference test methodologies.