Corey Beilstein, a Project Director at Seed Strategy, recently spoke at the prestigious Pangborn Symposium, an international meeting for those involved in the disciplines of consumer and sensory sciences.
This year’s symposium, which attracts some 900 delegates from around the world, was held in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (For more information on the event, visit www.pangborn2007.com.)
Titled “Sensory Science and the Fuzzy Front End: An Evolution of Roles,” Beilstein’s presentation focused on the evolving role of the sensory scientist in innovation, and the need for scientists to adapt to the changing environment of industry.
“More and more, companies expect sensory scientists to come to the front end of an innovation project,” says Beilstein. “And with cross-functional teams as the new norm, market research and sensory play together throughout the entire timeline. Today’s scientist requires entrepreneurship, flexibility, foresight, technical inventiveness and creativity.”
Beilstein came to Seed in 2006 as an experienced food innovation scientist with Fortune 500 companies. With an educational background in psychology and a personal passion for food, he has developed innovative research methods to create deeper consumer insight about the sensory aspects of food products.
“I used myself as a case study in the presentation,” he says, pointing to his role as Project Director at Seed. “A foundation in quantitative methods for sensory turns out to be a good skill set for understanding consumers and marketing communication strategies as well.”
Beilstein also exposed delegates to Seed’s proprietary consumer immersion tools, The Hive and Consumer Nation, two methods that smash the glass of the traditional focus group to bring companies a clearer view of their consumers.
“The focus group has its place, but companies need new ways to keep pace with today’s new consumer,” says Beilstein. “The Hive and Consumer Nation provide an amazing richness of data in a completely fresh way.”