Sensory claims and consumer purchase decisions

Project title: The impact of sensory substantiation claims on consumers’ purchase decisions
Member Funded Research project number: 147086

Why are we undertaking this project?

There is minimal guidance available to industry practitioners regarding sensory claims. In particular, guidance is needed on how to technically substantiate, demonstrate and verify all claims - to avoid misleading purchasers.

What are we doing as part of this project?

Investigating the perceived credibility and meaningfulness of different types of claims to consumers for food, drink and non-food product categories. This includes the perceived value and impact these claims have on consumers pre-purchase decision making and how to communicate claims to consumers to optimise product standout during pre-purchase selection.

Current status of the project

Awareness and understanding of sensory claims amongst UK consumers have been explored using focus groups. For a selection of food and non-food products, the types of claims that are the most meaningful to consumers have been identified. For selected food product categories, the relative impact of sensory claims on pre-purchase decisions has been quantified using a multi-stage explicit quantitative approach. Data collected in the UK and two other European countries is currently being analysed.

A white paper has been written, which defines the different types of sensory claims, as well as explaining how these are regulated in the UK and substantiated. The paper also discusses the practicalities and possible issues surrounding the sensory claim substantiation process, as well as providing recommendations based on practical experience. The next stage of the project utilises a combination of technologies to examine how consumers respond to sensory claims in purchase situations.

Consumers browsing products

Project Lead:
Marleen Chambault

Jan 2019 - Dec 2020

Steering MIG: Sensory and consumer

Project outputs

Related categories to this project

Consumers and sensory

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