By Maria Bryan - 31 January 2014
The importance of benchmarking cannot be overstated. That's why Campden BRI is proud to have UKAS accreditation for its benchmarking method, which provides an independent, unbiased overview of a product against its competitors. This comes from an informed consumer viewpoint, making product benchmarking a valuable, qualitative research tool that benefits manufacturers and retailers alike.
We have over 15 years experience in benchmarking, and now provide a well established and highly regarded service. Each product, from wedding cakes to bagged salads, to alcoholic and non–alcoholic beverages, is evaluated individually by our team of assessors for a number of sensory attributes including appearance, flavour, texture and odour, before being awarded an Overall Eating Enjoyment score. This method is unique to Campden BRI; it has since become a recognised industrial standard but cannot be easily used and replicated by other parties without extensive training and knowledge. The results from the Eating Enjoyment scoring system allows development teams to improve their product, as they can act on the information gathered from the assessor's response and adjust the product as required to better its overall acceptability and marketability.
Gaining accreditation for our benchmarking method means that we have been assessed against EN ISO/IEC 17025 general requirements for the competence of our testing and calibration laboratories, and have successfully demonstrated our competence, impartiality and performance capability. Our comprehensive training programme is indicative of this, with thorough monitoring of our expert panel for their performance and competency. This training scheme starts from the initial interview stage and continues right through the assessor's career, producing a cohesive and effective panel. Regular inspection and auditing of the method by UKAS reduces the need for clients to conduct their own assessments and allows them to make an informed choice when selecting a particular establishment to undertake their test.
As the only company to hold UKAS accreditation for benchmarking, our team has worked hard as part of the accreditation process to ensure that the expert assessor panel is highly trained to deliver accurate, consistent judgements of products. With such a competent, effective programme, investing in the benchmarking service at Campden BRI means that manufacturers and retailers can stay abreast of new and novel trends, safe in the knowledge that any results produced have gone through a reliable, robust process. These results will provide a valuable insight into product quality and acceptability, giving an upper hand to product developers in an increasingly competitive market.