SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION
When it comes to conducting marketing research, there are various methods that you can use to gain insights into a product. But when you are focusing on food, beverage and other consumer goods, the best way to know if consumer will like a product is to have them taste it!
These companies can help you properly conduct taste tests, providing you with an effective way to gather important data or measure consumers' options on new products. These companies can also help assess changes or improvements in a product or help you weigh your product against your competitors, providing essential information about the preferences of your target audience and giving you a deeper understanding of how consumers will react to your product. Top-ranked taste testing providers can find and recruit your target audience; provide access to test kitchens and other facilities essential for conducting taste tests and have the knowledge base to help you understand what it takes to conduct thorough and accurate tests to gather the most in-depth and effective data on products. Consider these firms for your taste testing needs.
Founded 2005 and in 2009 became a sensory facility in Boston | 21 employees
Jason R. Miller, CEO/Partner
With almost 10,000 feet of space just outside Boston, AnswerQuest is the Northeast’s premier sensory facility. AQ’s commercial test kitchen comes fully-equipped with both upright and walk-in coolers and freezers, stainless prep counters, tables and serving carts, residential ovens and dozens of microwaves. Abundant storage, plentiful outlets and an additional 400 free amps is available for specialized equipment. Our team is experienced in sensory and our Sensory Director (a trained chef) oversees every test personally. With a database of almost 100,000, we can tackle even the most challenging specifications and our trained recruiters fulfill quotas on time and within budget.
AOC Marketing Research
Founded early 1980s | 25 employees
Cathleen Christopher, COO
You need more than a fully-equipped kitchen, you need an experienced and professional staff who know how to execute your test. With 30+ years recruiting and implementing taste tests, AOC will take the worry out of your project so you can focus on the results. Our fully-equipped test kitchen has ample dedicated circuits, product prep tables, large and small appliances, cookware and utensils. Our testing rooms feature hardwood floors and seating for 32 with laptops and dividers. Visit our Web site to find out what researchers are saying about AOC and why our clients consider us their preferred research partner.
Area Wide Market Research Inc.
Ann Weinstein, CEO
Area Wide’s seasoned staff pours three decades of experience into every project. Our professional, in-house recruiting team – the most skilled in Maryland, D.C. and Virginia – can fill any group, from an intimate few to many hundreds. Recruiting low-incidence? That’s when we do our most creative sourcing! For central location tests, we staff and manage the entire process seamlessly. On-site, enjoy classroom-style or individual booth configurations, ample free parking directly outside our door to ensure on-time starts and a stocked kitchen with two fridges, two freezers, four microwaves, four ovens and its own viewing room. Plus, our building is privately-owned. No product, from cigarettes to alcohol, is off limits!
C&C Market Research
Founded 1992 | 700 employees
Thomas Morrison, Project Director
C&C Market Research is the complete answer to all of your data collection needs. For over 25 years our data collection specialists and field locations, coupled with our proprietary programming and data transmission capabilities, have ensured countless successful projects for all our clients. We are the largest privately-owned and -operated data collection company in the U.S. and have remained a leader in today’s marketplace through hard work, ingenuity and a dedication to quality. During this time we have worked on numerous taste test projects in each of our facilities. From projects with light prep to projects with full kitchen prep including ovens and ranges, we have experience across the board.
Founded 1989 | 10 employees
Mark Chudnoff, CEO
Chudnoff Associates Inc. is a full-service marketing research company that has been dedicated to providing high-quality research and excellence in client satisfaction for almost 30 years. We are known as the “creative problem solvers.” Recognized for our award-winning partnership that demonstrates a strategic point of difference in the areas of quality, service, innovation and value. We offer a nationally representative central location sensory testing option with full test kitchen. Our in-house bank of tablets allow for in-person interviews anywhere and our new geofencing solution allows for sensory evaluations on-site (in-restaurant) with no impact on operations.
Covance Food Solutions
Founded 1982 | 100 employees
Nancy Eicher, Vice President and General Manager of Product Design
Covance Food Solutions, the result of the new combination of National Food Lab and Food Perspectives, provides consumer and sensory research as well as consulting services to help our clients develop products consumers love. Our research solutions integrate the three essential aspects of successful new products: consumer needs; concept positioning; and product design. Services include: discovery of idea drivers through early concept and prototype exploration; product optimization through consumer guidance and trained panel evaluation; and validation of launch readiness through national confirmation testing. We offer national mail fulfillment IHUT and central location testing. Our state-of-the-art facilities in Minneapolis and San Francisco collectively feature three commercial kitchens, three focus group rooms, large flexible CLT rooms and walk-in refrigerators and freezers.
Creative Consumer Research
Founded 1976 | 76 employees
Patricia Pratt, CEO
For 40 years CCR’s mission has been to provide clients accurate and actionable information to develop strategic solutions. This includes having an expertise in mystery shops, on-site interviewing, in-store intercepts and store audits on a national level. CCR has the capability and location space to conduct studies with up to 200 respondents. Our experience includes all aspects of taste tests and sensory as well as interactive research with automobiles, farm equipment, motorcycles, large appliance testing, cosmetic products, alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages and a variety of food products specifically focused to targeted ethnic groups, low-incidence usage, adults 55+ and children. CCR has partnered within a variety of industries including health care, automotive and consumer goods.
Founded 1978 | 150 employees
Jerry W. Thomas, CEO
Decision Analyst is a global leader in IHUTs (in-home usage testing), product optimization and related analytics. The firm executes projects with a focus on quality assurance standards, systems and processes. Its staff has evaluated over 1,600 products during the past four decades. Decision Analyst has its own consumer panels, product labeling, processing and shipping equipment and facilities to conduct IHUTs. Decision Analyst’s IHUT system predicts consumer acceptance, determines the optimal set of ingredients or features and includes pricing optimization systems. In-home usage testing is an effective way to create better products, build brand share and boost profitability.
Focus & Testing
Founded 1995 | 35 employees
Spence Bilkiss, CEO
Focus & Testing, an Insights Center Facility, has skillfully executed food and beverage research through CLTs and focus groups for over 22 years. Since our inception, sensory testing has been our focus, allowing us to emerge as the prominent sensory center in Los Angeles. The 12,500-square-foot facility features the ultimate commercial-grade kitchen for everything from CPG to restaurant menu testing and anything in between. The facility also includes a residential kitchen, observable CLT suite with 44 respondent stations and three focus group suites. Our tenured and ServSafe-certified team sets us apart, enabling Focus & Testing to execute projects like a well-oiled machine.
Founded 1993 | 26 employees
Dr. Michelle Niedziela, Scientific Director/V.P. Innovation
HCD Research® is a full-service marketing and consumer sciences research provider using a combination of neuroscientific, psychological and traditional market research methodologies to better understand consumer behavior and nonconscious/emotional interactions with consumer products. The high failure rate of new market introductions begs the development of new approaches and methodologies for more insightful consumer understanding. Our team of experienced neuroscience and sensory researchers (led by Dr. Michelle Niedziela) can help you gain insight into consumer perception and provide useful information to make decisions for product development, packaging design and communications, marketing and claim development. Visit our Web site for more information: www.hcdi.net
Herron Associates Inc.
Founded 1958 | 45 employees
Sue McAdams, CEO
Leading sensory clients choose Herron for reliability backed by years of experience, stellar reputation and ease of execution. Herron maintains elite owner-operated facilities in Indianapolis and Tampa in addition to seamless project management utilizing proven partners across the U.S. We partnered with leading culinary teams to bring you kitchens designed by experts for the best culinary experience. Our spacious Indy facility offers a 960-square-foot commercial kitchen including 21’ commercial hood, gas quick connects, three phase power, walk-in cooler and freezer and a truck-level loading dock. Our Tampa office offers a large kitchen with upgraded power and ample work surfaces. Partner with Herron on your next project for a fresh perspective and see why clients make Herron one of their first calls when looking for an enhanced experience in the field.
INGATHER Research & Sensory®
Founded 2001 | 25 employees
Christine Cook, PRC
INGATHER Research & Sensory® is The Leader in Marketing Research and Sensory In-Context. Providing both traditional and alternative qualitative and quantitative research, INGATHER’s Unsalted Cracker Lab™ includes a full commercial kitchen, bar and restaurant within the space. The Common Sensory™ is perfect for consumer (CPG research), housing full consumer testing capabilities. Both have break off rooms for peel off focus groups. INGATHER’s 12,000-square-foot facility was built by researchers/scientists to meet the evolving sensory needs of today and the innovative in-context needs of the future. Whether it’s cleaning products, fragrance, cosmetics, gaming, you name it; INGATHER can handle your sensory research testing needs.
Insights Center LLC
Founded 2016 | 15 employees
Melissa Smith, Director
Denver’s largest commercial kitchen includes walk-in refrigeration, ventilation, fryers and plenty of stainless prep space. Our sensory/CLT labs are capable of seating up to 50 at a time and our ServSafe® trained sensory personnel handle even the most complex studies with ease. With two additional focus rooms, the facility can host both qual and quant. Whether it’s a sequential monadic, paired comparison or discrimination test, our clients know they can rely on the data we collect.
Jackson Associates Research Inc.
Founded 1957 | 35 employees
Marisa L. Pope, CEO
With over 18,000 feet of research space across two locations in Atlanta, Jackson Associates’ commercial kitchen, equipped with 142 cubic feet of walk-in refrigeration, 60’ of stainless prep, 80 lb. fryers, warmers and holding cabinets, is the largest and most conveniently located in the city. Couple that with our viewable CLT labs and luxurious focus suites and it’s easy to see why clients love our facilities. But it’s our experience that sets us apart; our average manager has more than a decade in research, which means less work for our clients. Our database of almost 200,000 makes even the most challenging recruit achievable.
Lucas Market Research
Founded 1967 | 15 employees
Suzanne Lucas Echelmeyer
Celebrating 50 years of market research excellence, our redesigned facility boasts amenities for the most discriminating client and is conveniently located 15 minutes from STL Lambert airport. Centrally located, our professional recruiting staff can deliver a diverse range of respondent demographics from the Metro-STL. Our 1,000-square-foot multipurpose room is designed to comfortably and securely accommodate 30 testing stations, each equipped with laptop and high-speed Internet. A fully-equipped test kitchen and tenured, fully-trained staff on product preparation protocol will deliver a seamless and cost-effective solution to ensure your project is a success.
Founded 1972 | 20 employees
Cari Pirello, President
Marketing Workshop expertly supports product development efficiently and effectively with custom research. Our versatile, commercial kitchen-equipped consumer test facility is designed for innovation, concepting, development and refinement. Having conducted thousands of menu development and manufacturers’ product studies, we’re known for being creative and agile, delivering actionable insights and added value. This robust experience is evident in the strategic recommendations and consultation provided throughout the research process. By engaging our marketing sciences team early in the research design phase, we leverage the most advantageous analytics to deliver clear and reliable insights. Marketing Workshop is the food and beverage research expert.
The Martec Research Center
Founded 1984, Green Bay research center opened in 2003 | 35 employees
Linda Segersin, Director
The Martec Research Center, a Martec Group company, is in Green Bay, Wis. The research center offers a full range of marketing research services with emphasis on telephone research from our in-house call center and focus groups. The research center supports a vast array of industries, technologies and markets including automotive/transportation, health care/life sciences, building construction, financial services, energy and food and nutrition. Utilizing Martec’s in-house database, which includes sensory-trained panel members, Martec conducts sensory testing and taste testing including blind studies and in-home testing. The Green Bay office features a consumer-based test kitchen, where our in-house chef not only prepares menus for focus groups but prepares and assists in judging recipes submitted in recipe contests.
Founded 1957 | 250 employees
Richard Popper, Ph.D., CEO
Consumer product companies rely on us to deliver the data and insights needed to launch new products, evaluate existing markets and competitors and develop new formulas that may save money or grab an increased market share. We’re an end-to-end research partner providing qualitative and quantitative research (CLT testing, IHUT testing and online research) through our company-owned facilities in Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, New York and Tampa and our field alliances across the U.S., Europe, Asia, Latin America and Australia. Our roots are in food and beverage but our category expertise includes restaurant, personal care, home care and OTC medicines. P&K Research: Helping Create the World’s Best Products.
PVR Research Inc.
Founded 1965 | 54 employees
Valerie Cansler, CEO
Come experience the PVR difference and see what our clients are raving about! Our large commercial kitchen is ideal for QSR, fast casual dining and food/beverage testing. We have ample freezer and refrigerator storage and multiple electric/gas connections to configure any cooking equipment required. Our CLT room accommodates 40+ respondents. Our newly-added second kitchen is designed for plate and serve testing. Its adjoining CLT room seats 60+ testers. Our professional staff can provide any culinary support to help prepare and serve test products. Culinary research is one of our core competencies. We provide your desired level of project support so that you can make successful business decisions.
Founded 1967 | 400 employees
Christy Crossan, Vice President
What do you do when you need to push 200 respondents through a product taste test in a short time frame with a tight budget? Quick Test/Heakin, an industry leader for over 50 years, offers 22 mall locations nationally, specializing in taste tests. Being your trusted partner, Quick Test/Heakin can successfully execute studies with both minimal and rigorous product preparation, engaging either a small pool of respondents, large-sized samples or anything in between. We believe in partnerships. You lay the groundwork. We’ll be the experts in delivering quality data on time and within budget. Teamwork at its finest.
Founded 1991 | 225 employees
David Reckner, President
Celebrating 25+ years of market research excellence, Reckner provides state-of-the-art taste test and product testing facilities located in Milwaukee and New York City MSA. Spacious, fully-equipped test kitchens offer ample refrigeration and freezer space, dishwashers, ovens, abundant counter space and more. Highly-tenured staff are fully trained in food service and well-versed on the detailed protocols of product preparation and testing. Experience in all food and beverage categories including alcohol, confectionery, dairy, frozen foods and more. Focus group rooms, multipurpose space and product testing booths also available. Experienced with home-use tests, large quotas and complex designs, all with quick turnarounds and competitive pricing.
Founded 1979 | 55 employees
David Rothstein, CEO
RTi helps turn insight into action. We are an innovative, global, full-service market research company and for more than three decades our clients have counted on us to connect the dots, tell the story and influence action. We are an AMA Gold Top 50 company and a Connecticut Top Workplace. Our talented, experienced and dedicated team has extraordinarily deep expertise, earned over decades of supporting successful brands. In RTi, you have a partner you can trust to navigate the many nuances of formulation screening, benchmarking, productivity and quality improvement, delivering the answers you need on time and on budget.
Founded 1966 | 700 employees
Tim Sauer, SVP, Client Solutions
Our team is highly adept at planning and executing complex taste testing programs. We provide a range of food and drink testing solutions either in-facility or at central locations that provide the right footfall and appropriate facilities to suit your particular needs. We support your preferred approach, be it branded or blind paired comparison tests or your proprietary technique. Depending on your chosen location, we pre-recruit or intercept and pre-screen participants to deliver a representative sample of respondents to support either a qualitative or quantitative approach. Our test teams are trained in this technique and follow strict guidelines in preparation and presentation to avoid cross-contamination and ensure neutrality. For alcohol testing, we ensure local laws and protocols are applied to ensure responsible tasting.
Target Research Group
Founded 1986 | 30 employees
Greg Spagna, CEO
A privately-owned global market research company, Target Research Group is an industry leader in consumer and sensory testing for over 30 years. Endorsed: Dean of the Culinary Institute of America for “Target’s continued support of our Bachelor’s in Culinary Science students, enriching their education with the latest market and food product development research methodologies.” Research focus on, but not limited to, food and beverage, pet care, home health and beauty care, fragrance. Custom and strategic research, such as quantitative, qualitative, CLTs to HUTs, social media analysis, forecasting, concept testing, legal research and new innovative methods. Specialists in modelling, sensory, segmentation, panels, conjoint, package design. Protocols for kids, families and adults.
TasteMakers Research Group
Founded 2010 | 5 employees
Andrea Poe, CEO
TasteMakers Research Group is a next-generation marketing research company founded in 2010 with the purpose of providing agile, affordable and rigorous consumer intelligence to clients. Our high-performance consumer product testing solutions are designed for product innovators, marketers and investors who require quick, quantitative and cost-effective results. TRG is a member of ASTM’s Sensory Ad Claims Standards Committee. TRG’s proprietary PopUp CLT™ (central location test) methodology reaches hundreds of on-the-go consumers effortlessly and seamlessly during the course of their daily lives to achieve real-time quantitative and qualitative results. Participants remain highly engaged with a dropout rate of less than 5 percent and an 80 percent completion rate of open-ended questions.
Visit Taste Tests and Taste Test Facilities for a complete list of companies offering these services.