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New Research Strategies To Be Explored at Product-Development Workshop

Get your coat and grab your hat, leave your traditional notions about research and development on your doorstep. Just direct your feet to the workshop, “Navigating the Product Formulation Cycle Without Chasing Your Tail,” April 5-6 at the Hyatt Regency Hotel, Phoenix, Ariz. where food, beverage, and personal-care researchers will challenge commonly-accepted product development practices.

The workshop is third in a series designed to stretch traditional understanding of the researcher’s role in product development and decision-making through the strategic planning process.

“Leading researchers from diverse industries will use case studies to demonstrate innovative research techniques that can guide and direct product formulation, screening, refinement, and optimization,” explained the workshop chair, Darla Simpson-Hall, president, Consumer Link, Gallatin, Tenn. “Techniques will be explored to create synergies between front-end research and concept development, and the product-formulation stage.”

Options that determine when the product-formulation cycle is complete will be discussed. The product-success paradigm will be challenged as presenters explore methods product researchers employ to establish roles as generators of strategic information and knowledge, rather than as data collectors. Presentations will be made by Dana Craig-Petsinger, director of Sensory and Product Development Market Research, The Kellogg Co.; Tom Carr, president, Carr Consulting; and Jennifer Jo Wiseman, director Product Evaluation, Gillette Co.

“In this workshop, participants will gain insight into consumers as developers, i.e., how learning from fuzzy front-end and concept research feed into the formulation cycle effectively and efficiently,” Hall said.

Participants will explore:

• How modeling techniques can reduce development time;
• How to assure that product formulation fits the concept;
• How other industries successfully navigate the product-formulation cycle through actual case studies;
• How market-segmentation techniques can guide formulation efforts;
• Why research data can reveal “bad” news and still be a “win,” thereby challenging the success paradigm;
• How to convert data into knowledge, insight, and wisdom; and
• Changing processes that allow research to contribute to the organization’s strategic plan.

Advanced registration is necessary; cost: $250 for ASTM members and $350 for non-members. Contact: Staff Manager Jim Olshefsky, ASTM (phone: 610/832-9714; jolshefs@astm. org). The workshop is being held in conjunction with the April 3-6 meetings of ASTM Committee E18 on Sensory Evaluation of Materials and Products. //

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