Testing a food product

Methodology based on sensory analysis allowing the retailer to assess the quality and the price of his products or his range via a user-centred approach.

Innovation phase


Activity type

  • Evaluation





Level of involvement



6 to 10


The participants should match the retailer's target audience.

Operational team

2 leaders


Ideally, in the shop, but ensure there is enough room for people to move around.

Materials required

Products for testing, tasting materials (serving dish, spoons, glasses, etc.), ballot boxes or storage bins, firm rest for writing (if participants are on their feet), pens


Find out your target audience's opinion of your products Confirm that the quality and price of products or range of products is consistent with opinion of target audience Validation and extension of range of goods and services / Continuous improvement

Important points

Limit the number of products (ideally ten) Offer water/bread between products (to neutralise the flavours) Make sure you carefully target the products to be tested (rival products, any questions (e.g. taste, sale, price), new products, etc.) The retailer participates in the workshop to present his products and his concept and to observe customer reactions. However, he should not influence the panel.


  • Identify target audience using the 'Consumer profile' worksheet

  • Recruit participants (via email, telephone, social networking and with a questionnaire to confirm that they are within the target audience)
  • Select the products and identify the order of tasting.
  • Complete the sheets describing the products to be tested ('Product description' worksheet)
  • Prepare materials and reception area



15 min

Greet the participants and distribute the necessary materials


10 min

Explain the retail concept and the objectives and proceedings of the workshop

Participant profile

5 min

Participants complete the profile questionnaire ('Tester profile' worksheet) This is an anonymous questionnaire with an allocated number that the participant places on each page to be filled in)

Product test

60 min

Repeat the operation for each product to be tasted (10 minutes per product)

  • Very brief summary of the product (for example, olive oil)
  • Blind tasting of the product, with packaging hidden from testers
  • The participants complete the taste, smell and texture sections of the questionnaire ('Product evaluation' worksheet)
  • The product is presented to the testers visually
  • The participants complete the rest of the questionnaire, namely appearance and their estimate of the price of the product.
  • The retailer describes the product using the previously prepared description. The testers learn about the product's history, how it is produced, its price, origins, etc.
  • The testers determine whether or not they will buy the product
  • Responses are posted in a ballot box or bin provided for this purpose.


10 min

Thanks, any reimbursement of expenses or gift/discount, post-test tasting, etc.