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Unique Database Seeks to Inform Product Developers and Policymakers of Food Consumption Habits and Preferences in France, the UK and Germany

6700 Respondents to Survey, Paper Published in the Journal of Sensory Studies

 

Contact: Laura Shea at 617-373-5427

(4-2-07) BOSTON, Mass – In a new paper, Northeastern University Professor of Marketing Samuel Rabino (right), Dr. Howard Moskowitz, President of Moskowitz and Jacobs Inc. and colleagues analyze the consumption patterns of 6,700 respondents’ evaluation of 22 food and beverage products in three countries, creating a comprehensive database of their findings. The paper, titled “Creating Databases from Cross-National Comparisons of Food Mindsets,” will be published in an upcoming issue of the Journal of Sensory Studies. The paper introduces a “Mind Genomics” approach to gathering information, creating a body of knowledge on how consumers respond to the components of a complex stimulus, and providing a guide to product developers and policymakers concerned with public health on how to develop successful marketing strategies.

The countries surveyed were France, the United Kingdom and Germany.

“The dream of every company is to take their product and package, market and sell it in exactly the same way in every country,” says Rabino. “This methodology enables companies to discern between products that lend themselves to a standardized marketing approach and those that don’t.”

The researchers used direct self-profiling questionnaire in a Web-based survey to collect data about food consumption habits along with a conjoint analysis stimulus-response model to understand how consumers respond to food concepts. By combining self-profiling and stimulus-response methods into a single interview, they were able to study a single food in great detail, meanwhile conducting a parallel study with a set of many foods to build a clearer, more holistic view of food habits in an individual country. The researchers then conducted studies across countries to identify the many different dimensions of consumption habits and preferences including product features and responses to emotional statements.

“As companies look to extend their brands into different countries, they must understand how members of specific cultures respond to products – what are their likes and dislikes, how should a product look, taste, feel, and smell,” says Rabino. “These are important factors in determining whether a product should be introduced into a particular market or not.”

Rabino and his colleagues plan to add more countries and products to their database in the future.

For more information or to obtain a full copy of the paper, please contact: Laura Shea, 617-373-5427.

About the Journal of Sensory Studies

The Journal of Sensory Studies is the only international, multi-disciplinary journal focused on food, nutrition, and healthcare. It focuses on human reactions to basic tastes on foods, beverages, the environment, medications, and other human exposures in every day life. The purpose of the Journal of Sensory Studies is to promote technical and practical advancements in sensory science, a multidisciplinary area that includes food science and technology, psychology/psychophysics, statistics, biology of basic taste, consumer science, material science (textiles/fabrics), marketing research, and other allied areas. Readers in academia, food and beverage companies, personal care product companies, wineries, and ingredient companies depend on this journal for the latest information on experimental design methods, quality control, and statistical analysis of data on human reactions.

About Northeastern:

Founded in 1898, Northeastern University is a private research university located in the heart of Boston. Northeastern is a leader in interdisciplinary research, urban engagement, and the integration of classroom learning with real-world experience. The university’s distinctive cooperative education program, where students alternate semesters of full-time study with semesters of paid work in fields relevant to their professional interests and major, is one of the largest and most innovative in the world. The University offers a comprehensive range of undergraduate and graduate programs leading to degrees through the doctorate in six undergraduate colleges, eight graduate schools, and two part-time divisions. For more information, please visit www.northeastern.edu.