ConsumerCheck is a user-driven project funded by the Research Council of Norway and focuses on method development within consumer research. Hilde Kraggerud at Tine is project leader, but Nofima is responsible for the scientific method development. The project commenced in summer 2009 and will terminate in summer 2013. ConsumerCheck is a natural continuation of the PanelCheck project which was about method- and software development for analysis of qualitative descriptive data (QDA) from sensory panels.
The project’s main focus is the development of methods for studies that aim to identify the most important properties of a product, so-called drivers of liking. In particular, emphasis is on development of methods for planning and analysis of experiments where one wishes to combine integrated product properties (intrinsic attributes) with properties related to packaging, design and various information about the product (extrinsic attributes). These methods are especially important for understanding interactions between the intrinsic and extrinsic properties. So far there is relatively little information in the literature regarding this problem and how it should be approached. A PhD student is financed by the project.
Examples of method development are largely linked to concrete experiments carried out in collaboration with project industry partners. The Norwegian industry partners are Tine, Arcus, Unil, Fjordland, Salmon Brands and NCE.
In addition to method development a data analysis software (named ConsumerCheck, identical with the project name) is being developed that will help industry partners to carry out data analysis with the new methods integrated in the software. ConsumerCheck will be free and open source and available for download to everyone after the project terminates.
Logic8, a software company located in the Netherlands producing solutions for Sensory and Consumer research, acts as a discussion partner for the software development and provides project participants free access to their data collection tools for consumer trials during the project period.
The ConsumerCheck project in Norway is closely collaborating with a Danish project having the same name. The ConsumerCheck software will be based on methodology developed in Denmark and Norway. Furthermore, there is close collaboration with Stellenbosch University (South Africa), University of Macerata (Italy) and CSIRO (Sydney, Australia).