Sensory Evaluation of Skin Care Products in China

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Sensory Evaluation of Skin Care Products in China

Sensory Evaluation of Skin Care Products in China: The Market Opportunity

China’s cosmetic industry has been growing the recent years rapidly and expects further growth: in 2014 the total retail sales of skin care products and makeup products in China accounted for 21 billion RMB, whereas estimations forecast the number to reach 142 billion RMB. The rising disposable income and changes in consumers’ spending habits, as well as the increasing online distribution and cross-border sales, are just a few reasons for that phenomenon. Market research has shown, the new Chinese generation prefers imported cosmetic brands from Europe, the US, and Japan which implies a huge opportunity for foreign businesses. Especially, men’s products experienced strong growth and the demand for quality and premium products is rising.

Case Study: Cosmetics industry in China

Our client, a European cosmetics company, sought to enter the Chinese market with skin care products. As Chinese consumers have a different hair and skin type, they also perceive the effect of cosmetics differently. Our client’s objective, therefore, was to investigate the end-results by long-term usage of their goods. Thus, the company approached Daxue Consulting to perform a descriptive sensory evaluation in China.

Daxue Consulting’s Expertise conducting Sensory Research in China

Daxue Consulting created a five-step process to reach the client’s goal. Our research team planned a tailor-made project to analyze the cosmetic market in China and to evaluate the effectiveness and the sensory feedback from highly trained panelists towards the skin care products. The project comprised the following steps:

Phase 1: Recruitment, Training & Quality Control

As a first step, Daxue’s consulting team Moreover, as for product effectiveness panelists need to be trained, Daxue Consulting performed several training sessions with them. Finally, to ensure the quality of the assessors, our team carried out a validation testing to confirm that the panelists understood the test evaluation procedure.

Phase 2:

Sensory research [Link to the Service Page] However, Daxue Consulting applied, in this case, Home Usability Testing (HUT), which means highly trained panelists had to perform the test at their homes. After ensuring the best level of equipment needed, our team carried out a small-scale pilot test. The next two months the daily workflow throughout the description of the testing protocol – developed and designed by Daxue’s specialists – comprised the following:

  • Daxue Consulting worked with an app where the candidates received questionnaires, to gather information about the acceptance of product attributes and ‘drivers of liking.’
  • Furthermore, the panelists needed to protocol what they consumed else during the time of usage with regards to food and beverage, tobacco, alcohol consumption, etc.
  • Moreover, the participants were asked to take pictures and video records of themselves during the procedure
  • Further, our consultants called the panelists from time to time and conducted face-to-face interviews with them to qualitative data about the personal subjective perception towards the product concerning olfactometric, haptic or optic matters.
  • In between our team invited the panelists once more to refresh the training and checked the condition of the skin.

Finally, the first and last day of using

Phase 3: Quality check & data analysis

According to Daxue Consulting’s project leader in sensory research, Tatiana Kuzmina, to be able to carry out accurate data analysis it is crucial to qualify with statistician experts, such as Evelyn Chen, our specialist in Sensometrics. With that know-how, the team could analyze data with different sophisticated software and scientific formulas to be able to calculate the level of errors and finally receive reliable results, which has been the third phase of the project.

Phase 5: Final report & recommendations

After analyzing all the obtained data, our team visually prepared sensory maps and provided a comprehensive presentation about the products’ long-term effectiveness, including hydration, lifting, or skin lightning effects. Moreover, Daxue Consulting provided extensive information about particular skin care product attributes, such as softness, oiliness, or stickiness. Our team provided an outline about results toward attributes, and preferences toward observed results.

Daxue Consulting has accomplished various sensory research projects in different industries including F&B [Link to the case study] or textile [link to the case study] as well as various sensory projects concerning packaging.

Click here [Link to Methodology/Service page] to get more information about how Daxue’s team is conducting sensory analysis in China.