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CIA research on senior consumer segments presented at Pangborn

Seniors are a growing and ageing consumer segment1 with distinct health related needs and preferences surrounding food and flavor choices2. Consumer perception of flavor is central to the success of many health issues and strategic plans for food companies3, 4, 5. Understanding consumers and the elements of products and services that drive their choices and interests is part of understanding flavor perception. Rule Designing Experiments (RDE)6, 7 combine experimental design and computer processing power to identify patterns in the vast array of factors that combine and contribute to, our perceptions of enjoyment of our daily meals.

The department of menu R & D collaborated with Howard Moskowitz, and used RDE to better understand the mind set of the senior consumer, and the factors that drive their interests. An online survey was conducted amongst 108 seniors, revealing 2 consumer segments within this senior population. The experiential aspects of the meal seemed to influence seniors more than the food's flavors or sensory rewards. This study was presented at the 9th Pangborn Sensory Symposium in Toronto in 2011, as part of a workshop on using combinatorial methods for consumer behavior. Pangborn is a symposium held every two years focusing on sensory science and consumer behavior studies, both in primary research and application in product development. The CIA's senior conjoint research was discussed in a previous article.


  1. U.S. Census Bureau (2009). Current Population Survey, Annual Social and Economic Supplement, 2008. Release on the internet June 2009 (
  2. Popper R, Kroll BJ (2003) Food preference and consumption among the elderly. Food Technology, 57(7)32-40.
  3. Seabrook J (2011) Snacks For a Fat Planet: PepsiCo takes stock of the obesity epidemic. The New Yorker, May 16.
  4. Shepherd G (2012) Neurogastronomy: How the brain creates flavor and why it matters. Columbia Press,
  5. Moskowitz HR, Beckley J, Resurreccion AVA (2006) Sesnory and consumer research in food product design and development. IFT Press/Blackwell Publishing, Ames IOWA.
  6. Moskowitz H, Reisner M (2011) Picking consumer brains with mind genomics. Food Technolgoy, 65(11)24-32.
  7. Moskowitz H, Gofman A, Itty B, Katz R, Manachaiah M, Ma Z (2001). Rapid, inexpensive, actionable, concept generation and optimization: the use and promise of self authoring conjoint analysis for the food service industry. Food Service Technology, 1(3-4)149-167.