Food science has it’s own language and lingo. Each term has an exact definition to those in the industry, but what about the everyday user? The flavor terms we use for our recommendation engine (terms like “yeasty” and “pungent spice”) could they be called user friendly?

In order to quantify our choices  (and not to make them personal choices), I created a quick Typeform survey in order to crowdsource user input and reach a broader audience. Allowing the user to type in their own choice opens it up for further discussions!

At the completion of the survey, users have the option to sign up to be a further Beta Tester – increasing our testing community to those that would be interested in our product.

Key findings: It was correct to assume our current terms are not user friendly. Overall, users opted to choose a different term than the current term. For example,  “Yeasty” at 12%, was trumped by “Fresh Baked Bread” at 33%.

But surprisingly, for a few terms the opposite was also true (ex. “Starchy“, at 45%, was proven to be the best of the suggested terms).

There were two terms that didn’t have a clear winner: “Pungent Spice“, each split 20% on the top 4, and “Woody“, top 2 each at 25%. This suggested either -any of the terms could represent the taste or -the taste description was too complex to have any one term represent it.

To note: – User input hinged on the choices made available. If there was a suggested term from the “other” answers, it was added into the live quiz as another answer option.
– This study also hinged on American culture. “Fall Spices” may only work for areas where they have fall weather and the cooking associated with it. Eastern Hemispheres would imply different meanings. These names would be revisited for international usage. 

The next step is to work in partnership with a food scientist. We’ll use this consumer research to identify key terms that are both user friendly while still remaining sensory specific.