Flavor company Givaudan crowdsources flavors with its Aroma Kiosk

12 Apr 2021

Swiss flavor giant Givaudan has rolled out its Aroma Kiosk, a digital sensory tool that crowdsources flavor preferences. These kiosks are located globally in grocery and retail stores as well as universities where shoppers can interact with the technology to allow Givaudan to collect consumer insights on preferred flavors in real-time.

Using a touch screen, consumers react and rate various aroma profiles emitted by the system that is linked to Givaudan’s AI algorithm ATOM 2.0 and its proprietary VAS technology for analysis. Individual selections are then translated into a personal taste preference profile for the consumer to see. Additionally, coupons to sample recommended products and free product trials are offered alongside an individual's flavor preference analysis.

Flavor company Givaudan crowdsources flavors with its Aroma Kiosk
Image via Tamara Gak on Unsplash

Givaudan’s head of global science & technology Fabio Campanile called this system a “game changer,” saying that these kiosks can be used in a “nearly limitless range” of environments and products. “The units are at the forefront of digital sensory innovation,” Campanile said. “The insights and data can then be used to develop and refine product lines, ensuring they truly delight the consumer.”

With the rapidity of change in the food and beverage space to respond to consumer preferences, having technology that can instantly identify flavor preferences of an individual and track trends across demographics will be a valuable commodity. The kiosks can recommend a tailored list of market products that a consumer will enjoy based on their responses to the aromas sampled from the kiosk.

Not only can the kiosk help guide people to products that will suit their preferences, but the data collected in this system will be used to inform future product development. Already Givaudan has pilot-tested the kiosk systems to refine its own flavor offerings.

In Mexico, the company tested a fresh strawberry flavor to see how the perception of this classic flavor evolved through generations. What the Swiss conglomerate found was that fresh strawberry attributes, as perceived by older generations, were considered to be artificial-like by younger generations. Other pilot projects have included a trial in South Africa to identify the most preferred flavors in alcohol applications and a test on margarita flavors that was used to inform product development.

A flavor-first approach is becoming increasingly important for consumers making purchase decisions. While functional attributes are undoubtedly a consideration for many shoppers, for the majority, good tasting products remain the paramount consideration as people seek to feed themselves. But not everyone has the same taste. As individual palate preferences become ever more important to driving product research and development for companies, technologies like the Aroma Kiosk that help develop a product’s flavor using crowdsourced inputs is an innovative method to engage real people in research that leads to real results.

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