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Developing A Food Product Using Merged Ideal Target Intensities From Kids and Adults

A small number of meals hold as much cross-generational appeal as macaroni and cheese. The comfort it provides embraces everyone, from youngsters to adults. However, crafting a mac and cheese that resonates across such diverse palates is a culinary challenge that demands deep product testing and consumer research.

Imagine the task of designing a mac and cheese that both kids and adults savor. Each demographic brings unique preferences and sensitivities, making the challenge complex yet rewarding. The goal is not merely to build flavors but to orchestrate a winning product that resonates with every age group.


Uniting Sensory Ideals

Driven by culinary curiosity, The Kraft Heinz Company and Curion embarked on a mission to unlock the secrets of the perfect mac and cheese for all.

  • Which sensory attributes resonate with adults and children in the realm of mac and cheese?
  • Are there areas of taste overlap between these distinct age groups?
  • Do factors like usage type and preferred brands influence sensory preferences?


Together, Curion and Kraft dove deeper into exploration, using Curion’s Quantitative Descriptive Analysis (QDA®). Curion’s QDA® approach is a 50-year-old scientific methodology for descriptive analysis, created by Curion that is only 1 of 2 methodologies within product testing that is recognized by ASTM.

Distinct sensory characteristics emerged from our research, identifying key positive and negative drivers from both adults and children.


Harmonizing Taste Preferences

Three segments surfaced among adults, and four segments crystallized among children, signifying like-minded individuals who shared common taste tendencies.


Culinary Victories

The outcome of this product testing and research was a profound transformation for Kraft:

  • A new understanding of the mac and cheese attributes craved by both children and adults.
  • Insights that paved the way for enhancing existing products while retaining their universal allure.
  • The revelation of hidden gems within their product portfolio that align with taste preferences.
  • A vision for stretching beyond traditional retail avenues, designed to captivate the masses.


In the realm of culinary innovation, the fusion of meticulous research and culinary expertise can work together seamlessly to build a culinary masterpiece—a product that transcends generational boundaries.


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About Curion:

Curion specializes in delivering impactful insights to the world’s top CPG companies, helping them develop winning, repeatedly purchased products. Curion’s deep data-driven product insights, sensory expertise, and state-of-the-art consumer centers enable them to uncover responses to critical client objectives. With over five decades of experience in the product testing industry, Curion is dedicated to guiding clients with their proprietary Product Experience and Performance (PXP™) platform, connecting brands to consumers at every step. An innovator in the industry, Curion recently developed a groundbreaking benchmarking product testing method, the Curion Score™, which has become a trusted and sought after tool within the industry. As one of the largest product and consumer insights companies in the U.S., Curion has built a reputation for excellence and trust among the world’s leading consumer brands. Curion’s commitment to innovation and expertise, coupled with a passion for delivering actionable insights, makes Curion a valuable partner for companies looking to develop and launch successful products.