The Issue

Our client felt that an important factor in consumers’ reluctance to choose alternative or additional varieties to mainstream Cheddar lay in their lack of knowledge about other cheese varieties.

Research had identified that a key factor preventing consumers from being more adventurous and experimental in the cheese market lay in their lack of knowledge about many cheese varieties. Our client’s hypothesis was that more evocative descriptions on pack would lead to greater experimentation with their products.

What we did

Research was conducted using PPL’s Qualitative Sensory technique – ensuring descriptions are based on the reality of the eating experience – with a wide variety of cheeses being evaluated.

This led to working descriptions and synonymous terms which were presented as stimuli to further Qualitative Groups, together with the cheeses they described.

A combination of sensory profiling and consumer research was used to crack the issue:

  • descriptive sensory profiling to understand the products’ unique sensory characteristics
  • consumer research to investigate how consumers described these characteristics in their own words and how motivating they found each descriptor


The research identified the descriptors that motivate purchase, ensured varieties would match expectations generated by the descriptors and optimised the implementation.

It produced a key to translate expert opinion of a cheese’s real character into consumer-friendly, motivating terms and a labelling implementation strategy.

The research identified how cheeses can be best described on pack in order to motivate consumer interest and therefore bring new customers to our clients brand portfolio.