The User eXperience design managers at Danone Research & Innovation use innovative methods to investigate the usage of our products so we can better understand and predict future consumer and patient expectations.
Part of our studies are performed in our state-of-the-art sensory facilities that help to identify which usage, functionality, emotion or sensation (flavours, smells, textures, and appearance) deliver the best User eXperience. In Utrecht we have 18 customized sensory booths where our expert panellists, who have an outstanding ability to detect taste and smell, are able to objectively evaluate sensory properties of our products such as texture, taste and aroma. We also collaborate with external experts to unravel how the long-term preference for certain foods is influenced by psychological, neurobiological and sensory factors.
Fast prototyping and co-creation in our design kitchen
Our ‘home-like’ kitchen facilities include a combination of classical cookware to mimic home situations, as well as technical equipment like a 3D printer. The kitchen is suitable for fast prototyping activities that are useful when exploring early concepts and also for co-creation and culinary design with healthcare professionals, chefs, consumers and patients.
We organise co-creation session with our users to identify which flavours, smells and formats deliver a superior product experience for them. In addition we encourage hands-on examination of new products by our key users to see if they meet their needs. For example, we ask mums to come and explore new packaging for formula milk powder, ensuring it is easy to open, to scoop and to store.