Case ExampleTaste Watch July 2011

Taste Watch is a condensed one page length report with colorful graphs and charts focusing on various food/beverage categories. The report provides alternate view regarding taste and examples of how to use analyzed taste data.

Canned Coffee

Regionally Designed Starbucks Doubleshot Series

Although sold in same brand product name all over the world, many product's taste are individually designed to meet taste preferences of targeted country or region. Starbucks, one of the multinational coffee companies, designed its canned coffee, "Doubleshot" series, that matches to preference of Japanese and U.S. consumers.

Measured Sample Overview

It is common to see difference in taste preference in different countries due to environment and lifestyle factors. When it comes to coffee, Japanese have higher tolerance to bitterness, and prefer stronger coffee compared to the U.S.A. consumers. Currently, Starbucks Doubleshot series include "Espresso Mist" and "Con Panna" in Japan, also "Espresso Cream" and "Energy+Coffee (coffee flavor)" in the U.S.A. Using taste maps and radar charts, detailed differences in both series are analyzed.

Bitterness and Creaminess

Figure1 is a taste map, which uses foretaste (a taste felt the moment a food or drink goes into the mouth) and aftertaste (a residing taste felt after a food or drink is swallowed) of bitterness/food as axes.

According to Figure1, Japanese series have stronger bitterness overall than the U.S.A. series. "Espresso Mist" and "Espresso Con Panna" sold in Japan locate in close proximity, meaning their level of bitterness are similar. the U.S.A. series, "Espresso Cream" and "Energy+Coffee," show individuality in bitterness. "Espresso Cream" locates in a midpoint of the entire series product, having a lighter strength in bitterness than Japanese series. The one with the least bitterness is "Energy+Coffee." Since this product is designed more as an energy drink than as a genuine coffee, low bitterness is preferable for easy drinking.

In Figure 2 taste map, milkiness (based on bitterness/inorganic ions) is used in addition to aftertaste of bitterness/food. The two series positioned in very different areas. Here too, Japanese series have strong bitterness and milkiness, making the products rich and creamy espresso from start to finish. "Espresso Cream" has less milkiness compared to other products. The product is an espresso drink with more emphasis on bitterness with a touch of cream. In contrast, milkiness level close to Japanese series is found in "Energy+Coffee." The product provides smooth milky taste with a hint of coffee bitterness to enjoy.