Symrise research into oral care flavours shows surprising results

By Pooja Kondhia

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Oral care Marketing Consumer Consumer protection Symrise

Symrise has presented findings from a study on consumer research showing unusual expectations for oral care flavours, at the ESOMAR Qualitative 2011 conference in Vienna.

Symrise said its approach to the study was unusual because it focused on consumer desires relating to the sensory characteristics of products.

Conventional testing usually delivers information about the acceptance of a product’s flavour but does not take into account other sensory factors involved when consumers make purchases.

Increasing importance to sensory properties

Consumers are giving more and more importance to the sensory properties of a product, and a lot of development is needed in order to optimise the different sensory features such as taste and aftertaste, texture and mouth-feel​,” a company spokesperson told

The spokesperson added that Symrise conducted an oral care study using a panel of consumers that highlighted the need for change.

The sensory experience is multi-faceted and sometimes almost paradoxical. With the example of oral hygiene, we wanted to highlight new approaches and make consumer research more comprehensible for consumers​”, commented Massimo Cealti, Symrise France.

With our insights, we can create products that consumers aceep easily and completely​.”

Consumers find it hard to express sensory preferences

Symrise identified that consumers find it hard to express their sensory expectations of a product and what they actually feel when they consume a product, the spokesperson added.

In line with this, the study enabled the company to provide the consumer panel with a way to express themselves non-verbally.

According to Symrise, the results of the oral care study were surprising as some of the traditional favourites had disappointing results while relatively unknown flavours, such as lavender and lemon grass, proved to be unexpectedly popular.

Plan to take this line of research further

This will enable us to create new products for specific target groups and product segments very precisely. There are certain learnings from consumers that will have an influence on our research ​[which] we plan to investigate further​”, the spokesperson said.

For the oral care research, a panel of consumers was invited to a workshop and given 50 scent samples to work with, in order to create their own toothpaste flavours.

A flavourist working directly with the company compiled the new flavours, enabling the consumer test panel to try out the formulations as part of the study.

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