Last week Dr. Bonfini, a project manager in market research for major national players in food and beverage, has given a lecture in my class at the University of Parma.
He currently is a Sensory, Consumer & Neuromarketing Operation Area Leader at the Intertek Italia. Intertek is an industry leader with more than 43,800 employees in 1,000 locations in over 100 countries. During his lecture, Dr. Bonfini discussed about the most innovative research techniques, from eye movement analysis to facial coding of facial movements to investigate the implicit behavioral responses to sensory stimuli. He also showed some case studies using advanced product testing focused on monitoring the impact of sensory characteristics on consumer liking, preference and purchasing behavior.
Neuromarketing research methodologies can be classified into three categories: (a) Neurometric (direct measurement and observation of brain activity using electroencephalogram (EEG) or functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI)); (b) Biometric such as measurement of biological and physiological responses (eye-tracking, FACS, heart or respiratory rate, skin sweating); (c) psychographic like concerning psychology and implicit responses (IAT).
Sensory science is “a scientific discipline used to evoke, measure, analyze, and interpret reactions to those characteristics of food and other materials as they are perceived by the senses of sight, smell, touch, taste, and hearing” (Stone and Sidel, 2004).
Reference: Stone, H. and Sidel, J.L. (2004) Sensory Evaluation Practices. Academic Press Inc., Tragon Corporation, Redwood City