Puratos Adds Sensobus

December 30/Puratos Press Release -- Puratos has introduced the Sensobus, descibing it as the first of its kind in the food industry on American soil. This fully equipped mobile sensory analysis lab can be driven anywhere within the contiguous U.S. and Canada to conduct tailor-made sensory analysis projects for Puratos clients. The Sensobus will collect data from consumers in pre-defined locations as they are on their way to and from their daily food shopping trip.

The spacious mobile sensory laboratory creates a comfortable environment for consumers to share their opinions about their everyday foods needs. Around 300 consumers can take part in food research questions per day, and it is Puratos' mission to gain the opinions of over 25,000 consumers in the unit's first year of operation. On entering the Sensobus, consumers will be seated at one of eight individual sensory tasting booths and be presented with a selection of bakery, patisserie or chocolate prototypes.

They will then be asked questions such as "Does the product look appetizing?", "Which bread do you prefer?" or "How much would you pay for this chocolate cake?" The answers are used to calculate a data mapping to indicate consumer preference. In combination with a mapping of the product characteristics, Puratos believes it can precisely determine and explain which products best match consumer expectations to ensure that its customers' new product launches are a "hit."

This will be the third Sensobus Puratos has commissioned worldwide, the first being in the form of an old-style London bus, which was reconstructed to form a small sensory lab just over seven eyars ago. Since then, Puratos has started to build these units tailored to the exact requirements of a modern-day sensory analysis lab, making it a truly engaging food tasting experience for all visitors, the company claims.

From the January 10, 2011, Prepared Foods E-dition