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Selecting Products for a Category Appraisal with Constraints

Rousseau, B., Ennis, D. M. and Ennis, J. M. (2016). IFPress, 19(4) 3-4.



Category appraisals are primarily conducted to gain insight into the variables that drive consumer liking but also to understand the relative positions of key products in the drivers of liking space. These appraisals are often quite expensive to field and analyze. Considering the investment in such projects, a critical first step is to carefully consider the selection of the products to include. This selection strongly influences the comprehensiveness, or limitations, of the conclusions reached. When planning a category appraisal, there are often dozens of products to choose from. This occurs because of the number of existing company products, new prototypes and competitor products of interest. Strictly from the standpoint of constructing a reliable Driver of Liking® space, it matters little whether the products chosen for inclusion have high commercial interest to the product developers or consumer insights staff. What matters is whether the products span the space so that the resulting map can be used reliably for computer aided product and brand development. Of course, it would be highly efficient if the products that best span the space are also those that would be chosen for commercial competitive interest.


Figure 2. First two components of a PCA on the sensory profiles of 25 products.

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