Macromill Group


Press Release

Case study: How Takasago International (Singapore) used “neuro-physiological study" for flavor evaluation in the Indonesian market
Physiological indices reveal deeper insight into the consumers’ emotional responses

Macromill, Inc. and Centan Inc. are pleased to announce that their jointly developed neuro research service has been used in a project to understand female Indonesian consumers’ flavor choices by Takasago International (Singapore) Pte. Ltd. (hereafter referred to as “Takasago Singapore”).

Macromill established a business alliance with Centan, a pioneer in neuro marketing, and began to expand our neuro marketing research business globally in January 2017. The neuro research service, backed by the academic and technical expertise of Centan, can measure unconscious emotional responses by referring to respondents’ electroencephalogram (EEG), heart rate, and skin conductance. When combined with subjective surveys such as questionnaires, emotions which are difficult to communicate through words can be better understood.

A range of studies which use physiological data are currently being conducted to obtain more scientific and objective information about consumer attitudes and preferences. The Flavors Division of Takasago Singapore collaborated with Macromill in a neuro-physiological study to better understand female consumers’ flavor preferences in Indonesia in February 2018.

Macromill’s neuro-physiological study combined with conventional surveys enables us to evaluate consumers’ flavor preferences more objectively, with physiological indices revealing unconscious emotional responses as well as strengths of the top scoring flavors.

■ Background

Takasago Singapore was keen to explore the use of physiological indices like EEG to evaluate consumers’ flavor preferences. They chose this as a more objective approach to flavor development than a purely questionnaire-based survey. Such surveys are not sufficient to evaluate consumers’ preferences for flavors especially when associated with emotional responses.

■ About neuro-physiological study

Macromill’s neuro-physiological study enables us to quantitatively assess consumers emotions (e.g. like, dislike, etc.) by measuring their physiological responses. Unconscious physiological responses can be recorded with EEG to show attention or preferences, and heart rate/skin conductance to show stress or excitement. This means we can evaluate consumers’ emotional responses to flavors more objectively by analyzing the correlation between the physiological data and subjective questionnaire results.

■ Study result summary

The survey results show that among six flavors (F1~F6) we tested, two flavors, F1 and F6, both received high ‘Overall Liking’ scores using the survey approach, “Conscious Responses” (Chart A). Although F2 and F4 scored similarly high, the total evaluation for F1 and F6 was better than others when looking at all attributes. For this reason, the analysis of physiological measurements, “Unconscious Responses” (Chart B) was undertaken for F1 and F6 in particular to provide an additional insight to the drivers of liking, which differentiate the flavors in terms of associated feelings and appeal to the women in the Indonesian market.

<Conscious Responses >
Overall Liking Mean Scores

Chart A

In Chart B, EEG Alpha-Back data indicated that while F1 performed better only in terms of calmness, F6 represented better in enhancing both pleasantness (EEG Beta-Left Front and heart rate) and arousal indices (EEG Alpha-Back and skin conductance). These physiological responses can be considered as their strengths, the reason behind the female respondents’ choice of top testers. Relatively, F6 appeared to have more potential in the Indonesian market as it received more positive feelings.

<Unconscious Responses >
Physiological Response Scores

Chart B

[Note to Editors]

This study was conducted among female consumers in Jakarta, Indonesia. Further research may be needed to validate if the same results would be apparent for male respondents.

■ Case study in detail:

Please refer to the following URL to see the case study in detail.
【Neuro-physiological study for flavor evaluation: Takasago Singapore】

The neuro-physiological study is part of Macromill’s priority new business areas including artificial intelligence and neuro. Macromill and Centan will further strengthen our alliance to assist in our clients’ decision making with more thorough consumer insights. We will fully utilize our know-how and prior successful examples to jointly develop new marketing research and digital marketing solutions with physiological data.

End of case study

About Takasago Singapore (Headquarters: TAKASAGO INTERNATIONAL CORPORATION)

Takasago International Corporation is a leading company in the Flavors and Fragrance industry which is headquartered in Tokyo, Japan. It has business operations in 27 countries and regions worldwide. Takasago supplies flavors for soft drinks, desserts, confectionery, dairy products, savory category, etc. It also produces food materials like fruit juices, coffee and tea extracts. Its Fragrance Division creates fragrances for perfumes, cosmetics, shampoos, detergents, air fresheners, bath products, etc. These fragrances are carefully designed to combine creativity, with performance and safety regulation. Takasago International (Singapore) Pte. Ltd. is the hub of their ASEAN business.

About Centan

Centan, the Macromill group company, provides marketing and consultancy services based on neuro science and psychology. Centan utilizes cutting-edge scientific expertise in product development and marketing to help clients meet their challenges. A pioneer in their field, Centan has worked on over 100 projects since inception.

About Macromill

We are a rapidly growing global market research and digital marketing solutions provider. We bring together the collective power of our specialist companies to provide innovative data and insights that drive clients’ smarter decisions. Our industry-leading digital research solutions deliver rapid and cost-effective solutions to the challenges businesses face today. We are headquartered in Tokyo and Rotterdam with over 40 offices across the Americas, EMEA and Asia. Macromill serves more than 4,000 brands and agencies in more than 90 countries with over 2,100 experts worldwide.

Macromill Group companies include: Macromill, Inc., Dentsu Macromill Insight, Inc., M-Cube, Inc., M-Promo, Inc., Macromill Carenet, Inc., Macromill Embrain Co., Ltd., MetrixLab B.V., Oxyme B.V., Precision Sample, LLC, Centan Inc. and H.M. Marketing Research, Inc. For more information, please visit our Macromill Group website

[Company Overview of Macromill, Inc.]

Business Name:  Macromill, Inc.
Representative:  Scott Ernst, Representative Executive Officer, Global CEO
Headquarter:  Minato-ku, Tokyo
Established:  January 31, 2000
Main Business:  Marketing research and digital marketing solution

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