It’s no surprise that bottled waters have different flavors. There certainly is a preference in the marketplace. Sensory product testing once again plays an important role in understanding what consumers prefer when it comes to bottled water.
The nuances of taste with water are not as pronounced as with other products. Although subtle, flavor varieties do exist and according to the data and common sense, there are distinct differences. Some of the sensory characteristics involved in testing the flavor of water include body, aftertaste, cleanness, fruitiness, mineral level, mouth feel, neutral flavor, sweet, sour, etc.
In initial testing, the majority of testers feel that each water sample is clean. However, by the end of the test, tasters are able to distinguish clear differences and develop opinions unfiltered by brand loyalty thanks to the transparency of blind testing. This is one of those tests where every single tester agreed on one thing for sure, they all had to use the bathroom at the end!
So which bottled water is preferred in the world? The water that consistently tested as the most preferred comes from a well or municipal source and is then carbon filtered, softened, demineralized, re-mineralized, and disinfected with ultraviolet light and ozone. Testers reported that it produces a clean taste, with no trace of minerals at all. It was neutral in flavor and it quenches thirst in a very direct and pleasing way to the consumer.
Sensory analysis (tasting, smelling) is a mandatory stage in factory level product control protocols. Companies that excel at producing water for consumers, the best producers of bottled water, rely heavily on sensory testing. Why? Human sensory capacities are highly efficient for detecting certain quality issues and come closest to gaining insight into the consumer experience. In fact, the human aspect of sensory product testing when it comes to water is profound. For example, humans are often able to detect chemicals that are undetectable even by laboratory testing. For instance, a molecule like trichloroanisole can be detected through human sensors at 0.2 nanograms per liter concentration, while chromatographic devices are only able to detect it at 0.5 nanograms per liter.
Bottled water is a billion-dollar industry. A few decades ago, there were only a small number of choices for bottled water, but consumers today find more than 3,000 brands in the marketplace. As such, understanding what consumers prefer using sensory product testing is both imperative and lucrative.
This article is free information from Contract Testing Inc., an established leader in sensory product research and consumer product research for the food, beverage, and (QSR) quick service restaurant industries throughout the United States and Canada. To learn more about the complete scope of product research services, please call 1-905-456-0783 or visit us onlineContractTesting.com.