Food & Beverage

Givaudan and Thimus Partner to Revolutionise Product Development Using Neuroscience

Givaudan and neuroscience company Thimus have partnered to revolutionise product development and consumer satisfaction using neuroscience. The collaboration aims to understand consumers’ experience with food to redesign products that meet expectations such as sustainability, health, and quality.

Neuroscience has the potential to bridge the gap between consumers’ opinions and their actual experiences to understand better and respond to consumer preferences, explains Givaudan.

Thimus has developed a ready-to-use platform called TBox that provides integrated data on consumer behaviour, opening a window to their minds. According to Givaudan, it exceeds traditional methods like focus groups or questionnaires.

“Neuroscience has the unique ability to reveal how consumers truly feel about a product throughout the eating or drinking experience,” commented Fabio Campanile, Global Head of Science & Technology for Taste & Wellbeing at Givaudan.

A plant-based taco
© Givaudan

A food experience lens

TBox provides participants with a headset that records brain signals during taste tests. Validated algorithms then process this data to measure four mental states: frontal asymmetry, engagement, cognitive workload, and relaxation.

Afterward, using proprietary software and a cloud database for data analysis and retrieval, the tool delivers previously unavailable or unreliable insights on consumers’ emotions related to food.

“We were immediately excited about the prospect of working with Givaudan because we see such a strong alignment in our missions of transforming food systems through a food experience lens. At Thimus, we’re humanising neuroscience and using it to redesign the foods we eat,” said Mario Ubiali, founder and CEO of Thimus.

A man wearing a Thimus headset
© Thimus

Consumer understanding

Givaudan has used Thimus’ technology in various projects, yielding successful results. For example, in a botanical soft drink test comparing two prototypes, the results revealed an adverse reaction during the taste phase of one of the products. The problem and its redesign could not have been discovered by examining declarative data alone, said the Swiss company.

“The collaboration with Thimus marks a significant milestone in consumer understanding”

Givaudan’s collaboration with Thimus is the first extensive use of the TBox platform in the food space, adding another tool to the company’s growing digital capabilities. The company has been expanding its global innovation ecosystem, and during the summer it opened a Protein Hub at its flagship Zurich Innovation Center in Kemptthal, Switzerland, to support the development of dairy alternatives.

“The collaboration with Thimus marks a significant milestone in consumer understanding. It has the power to revolutionise how we co-create with our customers, increasingly satisfying consumers and transforming the way the world eats while enabling more nutritious food choices,” added Campanile.

Givaudan’s new programme, Food Emotions powered by Thimus, will gradually be rolled out, becoming available for selective customers in some regions.

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