Introduction Skin Sensory Analysis And Consumer Testing
Introducing 21st Sensory
SkinSensory™ Analysis and
Kathleen Pillsbury Rutledge
918 333 1011
21st Sensory has become the preferred contract sensory
testing provider for nearly 200 companies manufacturing
personal care products, foods, beverages (including
alcoholic), OTC pharmaceuticals, polymers.
Our facility features multiple panel and consumer testing rooms,
the personal care testing suite equipped with temperature
controlled sinks and showers, commercial and domestic kitchens,
internet access to observe panels in session and more.
• Personal care testing suite with 6 sinks and 4
showers for descriptive and consumer product
• 30 expert panelists with 2 – 18 years’ experience
• Consumer and expert panel testing rooms with
live remote internet observation for tests in
• Pre recruited consumers from global companies,
industry, universities, health care, and other and
• Highly motivated consumer participants with
exceptional retention rate in long term studies (for
example, 95%< over 8 week home use study).
Who we are
We are a company focused solely
on product and consumer research
by applying established and
developing innovative sensory
testing methods. We strive to be the
best at what we do.
We hire intelligent, curious and
obsessively detailed professionals
and staff. Our descriptive panelists
undergo months of training. The
consumers that participate in
studies are carefully prerecruited to
match target customers.
The Sensory Tool Box
Objective! Objective! Objective!
To design your test, our first question is “what is it
you need to know?”
Analytical (Expert) Subjective
Trained or Semi Trained Untrained and Naive Consumers
Measure the attributes of the Test the Subject’s response to the
product itself product
•Sensory Descriptive Analysis can consumers detect a
Identify, define and measure difference
product characteristics by •Acceptance/Preference
standardized methods how much does consumer like
•Discrimination Testing or prefer products
Difference, Similarity, Multiple
Sensory Descriptive Analysis
Descriptive analysis provides detailed analytical
data that precisely identifies and measures all of
the perceived sensory attributes of products.
This is sometimes referred to as a sensory
“fingerprint.” In other words, we describe
perceived sensory characteristics in detail and
provide accurate measures of each of the
Sensory Descriptive Analysis
Using descriptive analysis, we become your
product's “experts” providing base line
“fingerprints” of how products taste, smell, look,
feel or sound.
Sensory data provides a means of objectively
measuring the impact of formulation changes,
storage, packaging, abuse, different processes,
and suppliers. Sensory data is used to compare
products to competitors and over time.
Using “Universal” scales
21st Sensory Descriptive Analysis methodology is based on
using what are referred to as “universal” scales. These
scales are to sensory testing what rulers, meters, and other
devices are to measuring weights, distance, sound etc.
Universal scales are widely accepted industry standards.
Universal scales are relational. This allows the intensity of
unrelated attributes to be compared to one another using the
Similar concepts apply to measuring sound in decibels. The
intensity of a bird’s song can be compared to the sound
intensity of an engine even though they are unrelated.
Panelists = calibrated instruments
• After a lengthy selection
process, panelists train 150
hours minimum before
joining regular panels as
sensory interns for 50
hours. Data are closely
• Hundreds of hours of
experience result in
panelists becoming masters
of sensory analysis
resulting in quick project
turn around due to brief
learning curves with
accuracy and reliability
While panelists are conducting a study, they review references that
represent anchors on the 10 point line scale. Lanolin which is not very
spreadable represents a 0.5 on the scale while Vaseline Intensive Care
lotion represents a 7.0.
Marking the test site
Measuring Baseline Gloss
Checking a reference 13
Example: Smoothness Scale
To measure this attribute, the panelist lightly slides her fingertips
across the test site (i.e, forearm) and then checks the references to
determine the degree of smoothness.
You have many options,
no cookie cutters here!
• Every project is custom designed to answer
your questions and to meet your needs.
• The number of panelists can range from 3 to 12.
You decide based on your objectives, budget,
and how the data will be applied.
• We can assess all product characteristics or just
focus on the those that matter to you.
• Ask us to custom develop protocols and test
methods for your unique product– we love the
challenge of working with new products and
• Focus Groups,
• Standing Consumer Advisory
• Ethnography (Behavior and
• Home Use Testing
Consumer Testing Timeline
• Prefer () 3 week scheduling in advance.
• Week before test:
– Pre-screener and ballot completed week before test
– Pre-screeners are broadcast by email to a database of local residents that
includes two universities, a career tech, employees of global companies
that include Schlumberger, Siemens, ConocoPhillips, 35 fund raising
organizations, and many civic groups.
– Prequalified consumers called, qualified further, scheduled for test
• Week of Test
– Ballots scanned day after test
– Topline tables emailed within 48 hours after test completed
• Final report with tables and findings usually sent 10 days
after testing completed.
Skin Stickiness ratings after
Consumers rated Sample S a 6.0 Consumers rated Sample N
on 9 point hedonic scale indicating at 2.9 on the hedonic scale
they liked the degree of skin indicating they didn’t like how
stickiness after applying this lotion. sticky the skin felt after
(1 = dislike extremely, 9 = liked applying this lotion..
Plotting the two sets of data
This table plots the
consumer and sensory
panel data. The data
demonstrate an inverse
relationship in that the
lower the panel
measure of stickiness,
the higher the
consumers degree of
The vertical axis is the consumer
hedonic ratings. The scale goes
from 1 (dislike extremely) to 9
SkinSensory™ data are used in
advertising claims substantiation
“Lighter than other leading moisturizers”
“No powdery residue”
“Fresh, powder residue”
“Improved, less sticky feel”
Other services we offer:
• Extended Home Use Testing projects with meticulous
• In house training food, beverage, personal care
• Custom developed training modules, lexicons and
references for company internal panels
• Collaborating with respected sensory statisticians and
other sensory testing groups to produce preference
mapping studies across US
• Integration of descriptive data and consumer opinions
to establish scaled ranges of consumer acceptability
for specific product characteristics
For more information
A sample report will be emailed on request.
• Call 918 333 1011