Givaudan’s Tate & Wellbeing division is rolling out an interactive ‘kiosk’ into grocery and department stores, universities, and shopping malls to gather consumer insights and recommend products in real time.
Called the ‘Aroma Kiosk’, the digital sensory insights tool combines a ‘user-friendly’ touch screen linked to Givaudan’s AI algorithm ATOM 2.0 (Advanced Tools for Modelling) and VAS (virtual aroma synthesiser) technology.
When consumers smell and rate different aroma profiles available via the kiosk, the data is then translated into personalised flavour preferences using the company’s AI-based algorithm.
Givaudan is describing the technology as a ‘game changer’ that can ‘significantly’ shorten the product development cycle and increase the chances of successful launch.
Consumers ‘excited’ to discover their palates
Consumers have been willing to try out the kiosk in public spaces, Givaudan’s research investigator, Taste & Wellbeing, Rahul Siva told FoodNavigator.
“Aroma Kiosk uses Givaudan’s patent-pending AI algorithm (ATOM) to offer personalised recommendations of market products to consumers. Early trials, conducted in public spaces prior to the pandemic, showed consumers were very keen to engage with the technology.”
Describing the kiosk as ‘fun’ and ‘very intuitive’ to use, Siva explained that the screen guides participants easily through the process, ‘explaining each step along the way’ – including how their answers are used by the system. “In return, consumers may get coupons to try recommended products or free product trials.”
Siva added: “Consumers were excited to discover their palates and what drives their individual preferences.”
For the most part, food and beverage companies will select the placement of the Aroma Kiosk, whether that be in grocery stores, universities or malls.
“In most instances, it will be food and beverage companies that are utilising the Aroma Kiosk for consumer research and product development, so their placement is dependent on the needs of the company,” Siva explained.
“We have found that they provide an exciting and interesting focal point for customers and visitors, so this is an added benefit for the venue.”
Targeting ‘flavour first’ products
Givaudan has conducted a number of pilots in the UK, the US, Canada, Dubai, Mexico, and in South Africa. The Aroma Kiosk has now been rolled out to all of Givaudan’s regions worldwide, so it will be operational ‘around the globe’, we were told.
Examples of flavours tested for specific products including margarita flavours in the US and beef gravy flavours in the UK.
“The Aroma Kiosk is incredibly versatile and can be used across the flavour spectrum. In the pilot it was used to test a broad range of flavours with customers. For example, in several locations in the US, the Kiosk was used to test variations of margarita flavours with consumers, making recommendations based on personal preferences,” explained the research investigator.
“In the UK, the Kiosk was deployed to test an orange beverage, strawberry yogurt, and beef gravy flavours, collecting consumer data on flavour preferences.”
The technology is ideal of ‘flavour first’ products, Siva continued, whereby the aroma from the product’s flavour helps driving the purchasing decision. Examples include carbonated soft drinks, flavoured water, candies and gums.