SOUTH AFRICA – Swiss multinational flavor and fragrance manufacturer, Givaudan has opened a new Consumer & Sensory Insights (CSI) center at its production facility in Johannesburg, South Africa.
The CSI center, which is its first in Africa, will provide an interactive space for an expert panel to taste, smell and otherwise experience new flavors of food and beverages developed by the company, reports Engineering News.
The food ingredients maker prides itself on creating consumer-centric food experiences by leveraging unique and local consumer and sensory understanding in every step of its food development journey.
At its Tulisa Park facility, food scientists are among the employees that manufacture flavoring extracts, syrups, powders, and related products for the food and beverage industry.
The company believes consumer research is the key to improving a product and successfully marketing food products to target customers.
In turn, food choice, consumption, and repeat purchases are largely decided by the sensory experience.
Therefore, sensory research, as done through the CSI center, provides a deep dive into the characteristics of products for Givaudan.
Givaudan commercial head for trade and wellbeing in the South Asia, Middle East, and Africa region Antoine Khalil says it is crucial to comprehend the multimodal aspects of food and beverage experiences and translate them into multifaceted product solutions for customers and consumers.
At its Tulisa Park facility, Givaudan develops savory and sweet goods, beverages, and dairy flavors. Its expert tasting panel comprises 14 South Africans, who rate and describe samples according to Givaudan’s sensory language, called Sense It.
The panel uses science-based methodologies to profile ingredients or products, according to taste, flavor, texture, color, and other attributes.
The CSI was designed with special sensory software to run live data analysis, while panelists feed in their evaluations. The center includes an area for sample preparation, fully equipped booths for product testing, and a multipurpose meeting area for discussions.
With its South African CSI, Givaudan aims to strengthen its local flavor development capacity and complement the work of the other CSIs globally.
Givaudan was established about 250 years ago and has grown to operate across 185 locations in 52 countries.
The South African operations were established in 1956 and employ 220 people spread across the sales and marketing division, research and development teams, a production factory, compounding laboratories, and the CSI center.
“The food sector is facing profound disruption, driven by rapidly changing consumer and customer needs. Our newly opened CSI will help us unlock local consumer insights and analyze technical sensory data to enhance our capabilities in creating food experiences that are loved by consumers,” Khalil states.