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11th Australia & New Zealand Sensory and Consumer Science Symposium

Tuesday, 28 February 2017 11:03am

Group photo of Symposium attendees

Professor Indrawati Oey and Dr Mei Peng from the Department of Food Science, University of Otago, organised the 11th Australian and NZ Sensory & Consumer Science Symposium, held on the 20th-22nd February 2017 in Queenstown, New Zealand.

The event is hosted by the New Zealand Institute of Food Science and Technology (NZIFST) and kindly sponsored by Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment (MBIE) and the Agricultural and Marketing Research and Development Trust (AGMARDT), supported by the University of Otago.

51 people attended the Symposium, traveling to the event from NZ, Australia and also Japan and Canada. The participants included research students, academics and professionals in Industry and various research institutions.

Sensory and Consumer Science are two fast- growing fields of interest in industry, research and the innovation community. Today more than at any other time, methods of measuring human perceptions and behaviour to understand consumer consumption habits and decision-making are of the upmost importance in order to gain a larger market share. The symposium provided an exceptional networking opportunity to expand skills, exchange ideas and knowledge and build a network with peers, from both professional and research establishments. It also hopefully created opportunities for projects and collaborative work and research.

From the UK, we welcomed Professor David Thomson and Anne Hasted as our Guest speakers. symposium hosts Indra Oey and Mei Peng with guest speakers

Professor Thomson is Chairman of the MMR Group (Mathematical Market Research Ltd) and visiting Professor at the University of Reading, UK. The main area of David’s professional interest/expertise is the psychology of consumer choice. He leads a MMR Group research team that explores the motivators of consumer behaviour and choice, with a view of translating this knowledge into commercially useful methodologies.

During the 2017 NZIFST Sensory and Consumer Science Symposium, David spoke on the topics: “Why we do what we do- An introduction to the duality of reward hypothesis”, “The nature of influence of emotion- How emotion is captured in consumer research”, and “Sensory branding- Optimising branding, packaging and product across key touch points'. A highlight was his workshop on “Sensory delights of single malt Scotch whiskey”.

Anne Hasted is another internationally renowned expert in applied statistics for sensory and consumer research. After leaving an academic career at the University of Reading’s Department of Applied Statistics, Anne went on to form one of the world’s leading providers for statistical support for sensory and consumer applications. Qi Statistics Ltd supports corporate and research team projects, from design to interpreting results, and all or any stages in-between.

Anne gave a workshop on “Aspects of consumer test design”.

All participants gave a 10 minute presentation on an area of Sensory & Consumer research which was invaluable to making connections and collaborations.

The event was a great success for the University and the NZIFST.