Food packaging

Five things to get right when making a sensory claim

By Sarah Thomas - 15 February 2018

"Packaging has become a marketing tool in its own right which can be utilised to 'break through' the 'competitive clutter' when being viewed in a supermarket setting, with the intention to engage and connect with the consumer"1. It is becoming increasingly important for producers to differentiate their products in a way that will provide a competitive advantage and entice consumers to purchase their product. One such way is to substantiate a sensory claim in relation to a product attribute such as "crunchy", or through superiority claims in relation to a competitor such as "brand Y is liked better than brand X".

Although sensory claims are not yet extensively regulated in the UK, stating a claim in relation to a unique sensory aspect of a product or a key competitor may have a detrimental impact on a business if the claim cannot be supported by robust scientific research.

The following tips will help you to understand how to successfully substantiate a sensory superiority claim2:

Sarah Thomas
+44(0)1386 842254

About Sarah Thomas

Sarah is an experienced consumer insights practitioner, whose background in qualitative research provides a skill set that is sensitive to understanding the complexities of individuals’ thoughts, feelings, and behaviours. Sarah works closely with clients to fully comprehend their research needs and respond with tailored study designs that deliver solutions to technical challenges and/or inform new product development.

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1 Underwood, et al. 2001. Packaging communication: Attentional effects of product imagery. Journal of Product & Brand Management, 10, 403-22.
Rundh, B. 2005. The Multi-faceted Dimension of Packaging. Marketing Logistic or Marketing Tool? British Food Journal, 107, 670-684.
Ambrose, G. and Harris, P. 2011. Packaging the Brand: The relationship between packaging design and brand identity. AVA Publishing SA.
Agariya, A. et al. 2012. The Role of Packaging in Brand Communication. International Journal of Science & Engineering Research, 3, 1-13.

2 ASTM Standard E1958 – 16, "Standard Guide for Sensory Claim Substantiation", ASTM International, West Conshohocken, PA, 2016,

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