Do teenaged chocolate-flavored cereal consumers go cuckoo trying to do TCATA while eating Cocoa Puffs?

Sara King/ August 20, 2017/ Oral Presentation, Poster/ 0 comments

The feelings, tastes, flavors, and sounds elicited by ready-to-eat breakfast cereals in the mouth are perceived dynamically, and evolve within each bite, and over the multi-bite eating experience. Temporal check-all-that-apply (TCATA) is a temporal sensory method that extends the use of check-all-that-apply questions by allowing continuous selection of attributes based on applicability or noticeability. TCATA can permit characterization of the consumer perception dynamics of products.

We sought to determine whether a panel of untrained teenaged category consumers could successfully characterize 6 commercial chocolate-flavored breakfast cereals using the TCATA Fading method. In fall 2016, we recruited 76 high school students (14-17 yo., 38 female) to participate in a sensory panel with financial remuneration. Each consumer evaluated 6 chocolate-flavoured cereals dry. Each evaluation consisted of two 1-min TCATA evaluations with 9 sensory attributes, separated by 5 s. After each two-bite evaluation was complete, consumers indicated their overall liking of the sample on a 9-point hedonic scale.

TCATA data were highly discriminating. We co-investigated the teens’ sensory and hedonic responses. Cluster analysis on hedonic data suggested the presence of two consumers clusters. Samples were perceived differently between clusters. In each case the more liked samples were characterized more often as chocolaty, and less often as bitter, off-flavored, and corn flavored. Crunchiness and peanut butter flavour were other characteristics of liked products.

Results from this panel demonstrate that 14- to 17-year-old category consumers with negligible training can successfully perform the TCATA Fading task. This finding is important because we are unaware of any previous research in which a younger-than-adult consumers have performed temporal sensory evaluations. The teens indicated that the TCATA Fading task was easy to do, and somewhat disagreed that the task was boring, but their dynamic profiles successfully discriminated familiar products with known differences.

Castura, J. C., King, S. K., & Findlay, C. J. (2017). Do teenaged chocolate-flavored cereal consumers go cuckoo trying to do TCATA while eating Cocoa Puffs? 12th Pangborn Sensory Science Symposium. 20-24 August. Providence, RI, USA.


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