Puratos R&D hits the road
with an innovative new R&D scheme.
The company, which develops ingredients for the baking, confectionery and patisserie industries, launched its new 'Taste and Wellness' marketing concept at the IBA trade fair this week.
For the scheme, Puratos is using a traditional double decker style bus as an unusual method of collecting consumer feedback. Being mobile will allow the company to undertake specialised research, specific to individual European regions, and target products accordingly.
The Sensobus contains a small laboratory which invites participants to taste a range of health-boosting functional Puratos products and rate them according to various factors.
Consumer responses are then recorded and presented in percentages displayed on a plasma screen attached to the double-decker bus.
The process allows Puratos to use a technique known as 'preference mapping' which gives each product a colour according to how positively it has been received and gives the company the opportunity to compare many products at once by collating the information.
R&D manager of flavour and sensory analysis Emmanuel Vanzeveren told bakeryandsnacks.com the bus could be visited by up to 300 consumers a day and had traveled extensively in mainland Europe.
In the past year, 10,000 consumers have been interviewed in 10 different countries by a sensory analysis, a flavourist and a data manager.
Among the products being sampled on the Sensobus is cholesterol-lowering bread which contains beta-glucan oats to lower LDL 'bad' cholesterol naturally.
In addition to the mobile sensory analysis lab, Puratos is opening a €6.4m 'Innovation Centre' this month in Brussels.
Puratos sales director Peter Deriemaeker said: "We will concentrate our findings concerning what the customers want: health, pleasure, convenience and taste and we will show our visitors how Puratos translates these expectations into bakery, patisserie and chocolate products, solutions and innovations."
The Centre will contain sensory analysis laboratories, baking equipment demonstrations and consumer marketing presentations in order to train Puratos employees and increase company knowledge about the industry.