Interview with cornerstone member Curion

Interview with cornerstone member Curion 150 150 Katie Maslanka

Tabetha Hawkins (Administrator) on 25 Feb 2019 5:11 PM

QUESTION: What is the mission of your organization?

ANSWER: Deerfield-based Curion Insights,, is a state-of-the-art provider of consumer insights and sensory testing for leading and emerging brands in the food and beverage, personal care, fragrance and home care industries. Brand owners leverage Curion data to uncover: key attributes for optimization, market and demographic opportunities, flavor and texture profiles, competitive landscape and more. The company’s mission is to provide clients with high-quality consumer insights in order to mitigate risk and ensure success in the marketplace.

QUESTION: What is your preferred method of marketing to your audience?

ANSWER: Our panelists serve as our “supply” of consumer insights. We attract consumer panelists via social media and shopper marketplaces. Our CPG clients are referred to Curion through word-of-mouth referrals.

QUESTION: Is there a specific focus, topic area or department that you would like to further develop through CFBN?

ANSWER: Sensory insights have a profound influence on product acceptance, and this is where we excel. Curion services include: Qualitative Descriptive Analysis (QDA®), Product Optimization (PROP™), Discrimination Testing, Consumer Acceptance Testing and Benchmarking to name a few. Invite us to speak! We look forward to sharing our knowledge with CFBN members.

QUESTION: What benefits or advantages are you hoping to gain through your membership?

ANSWER: We want to drive brand awareness. Curion was formed with the merger of Q Research Solutions and Tragon Corp. We are backed by Monroe Capital and, in addition to our headquarters in Deerfield, have offices in Dallas, Atlanta, San Francisco and in the New York metropolitan area. It is our hope to share our knowledge with other CFBN members, and educate them on the latest methods and processes we use to help CPG brands achieve market success.

QUESTION: What was the main motivation for joining the CFBN Network?

ANSWER: Networking with brand owners and industry thought leaders is a win-win opportunity. We look forward to meeting and sharing expertise with CFBN member companies. Curion can help them in their efforts to launch product concepts successfully. As a Chicagoland-based company, we have a vested interest in helping the business community thrive. Our mission aligns well with yours, “To leverage the power of the food and beverage industry in Chicagoland to grow the industry and the local economy.”

QUESTION: What additional information would you like to share about your organization?

ANSWER: Curion recently launched eFive™, a sensory and product insights platform designed specifically for emerging brands. Legacy brands have long enjoyed the competitive advantage of sensory research, coupled with precise data analytics. eFive™ will give emerging brands quick, accurate and affordable consumer insights from industry-leading sensory experts. This solution democratizes access to the knowledge new brands need most to succeed with a suite of offerings at an affordable price.

QUESTION: What areas do you feel your organization is well versed in?


Curion is well versed in a range of disciplines including:

· Quantitative consumer preferences
· Qualitative consumer testing
· Sensory & Discrimination testing
· Fragrance testing
· Product innovation
· Mitigating against product failure


Learn more about our Cornerstone member Curion here



Article originally posted by Chicagoland Food & Beverage Network

Newest Cornerstone Member Curion Joins CFBN

Newest Cornerstone Member Curion Joins CFBN 150 150 Katie Maslanka
Tabetha Hawkins (Administrator) on 19 Feb 2019 3:55 PM

February, 2019 (Chicago). Chicagoland Food and Beverage Network (CFBN) continues to grow fast, bringing together the region’s premier food and beverage companies for networking, education, and collaboration. Launching in 2017, with the mission of driving regional economic growth, CFBN now boasts more than 70 corporate members and over 150 individual members.

Today, CFBN announces its newest Cornerstone member, Deerfield based Curion,, a leader in sensory and consumer product research to top companies across the United States. Curion helps companies mitigate risk of marketplace failure by ensuring that only products of quality and character will be introduced to the market, providing repeatable delight to consumers. They accomplish this with their world-class people, sensory processes, facilities and data insight. In 2018 alone, the company tested 97,000 consumers for 25 leading brands. Their insights provide a wealth of data such as: product readiness for launch, consumer purchase decision process, key attributes for optimization, market and demographic opportunity, flavor and texture profiles, competitive landscape and more. Curion was formed with the merger of Q Research Solutions and Tragon Corporation.

“We are excited to join the Chicagoland Food & Beverage Network in growing and developing our regional food and beverage connections,” says Sean Bisceglia, CEO of Curion. “We’re impressed by what CFBN’s accomplished in just two short years. We look forward to building upon their solid foundation.”

The Chicago area’s food and beverage industry encompass some 4,500 companies with 130,000 employees, equalling $32B in annual sales. Food & beverage is a key factor in the area’s economy. Chicagoland is the second-largest food & beverage industry ecosystem of its kind in the U.S.

In 2019, CFBN is finalizing the establishment of a training institute and certification program for food & beverage manufacturing employees. In partnership with Instituto del Progreso Latino and support from the Robert R. McCormick Foundation, and an anonymous donor, CFBN is developing a comprehensive curriculum that will prepare more people for industry careers.

“The food & beverage industry is uniquely able to provide jobs at all levels, which is critical for a vital local economy,” says Alan Reed, Executive Director for CFBN. “Our nonprofit mission is to work in a different way that will help support industry workers as well as the entire regional economy. We’re excited to now have Curion help us achieve this goal.”

Some additional CFBN members include: Kraft Heinz, Tyson Foods, Simple Mills and Tiesta Tea.

To become a Chicagoland Food & Beverage Network member visit Memberships are available to all industry enterprises — from early-stage food & beverage entrepreneurs to large, established companies. CFBN member benefits include access to exclusive industry events, affiliate discounts, career center, concierge services, and innovation support.

# # #

For more information, please contact Andrea Carbine at


Article originally posted by Chicagoland Food & Beverage Network

Curion Launches eFive

Curion Launches eFive 150 150 Katie Maslanka

Curion, leader in sensory evaluation and consumer product testing, launches eFive™


A long-awaited platform for emerging brands


Curion, announced today the launch of eFive™, a sensory and product insights platform designed specifically for emerging brands with testing facilities in Chicago, San Francisco, Dallas and New York City metropolitan areas. “Legacy brands have long enjoyed the competitive advantage of sensory research, coupled with precise data analytics. eFive™ will give emerging brands quick, accurate, and affordable consumer insights from industry-leading sensory experts. This solution democratizes access to the knowledge challengers need most to succeed with a suite of offerings at an affordable price,” says Curion CEO Sean Bisceglia.

Sensory science is a research method that gathers and analyzes consumers’ responses to products that invoke the five human senses: taste, touch, sight, smell and sound. Through its offerings, eFive uses sensory science to reduce the risk of failure. For brand owners like Gregg Latterman, co-founder of Chicago based Positive Pretzels, eFive™ delivered the consumer insights needed to take his new product to market.

According to Latterman, “When Curion showed me what eFive™ could do, I was impressed. I was able to get consumer insights quickly and profile my target audience. We were able to develop brand messaging and create viable market positioning, so critical in today’s agile retail environment. Today, Positive Pretzels can be found at Whole Foods.”

Adds Bisceglia, “Speed to market and agility are the competitive advantages legacy brands have long understood, but consumer testing can be costly. With eFive™, we can give emerging and craft brands research and sensory testing that delivers valuable insights with speed and accuracy.”

For more information or to receive a free estimate on your next sensory test please visit us at


About Curion

Curion is a full-service product and sensory insights firm. Curion mitigates risk of marketplace failure by ensuring that only products of quality and character will be introduced to the market, providing repeatable delight to consumers. This is accomplished with world-class people, sensory processes, facilities, and data insights. These insights provide a wealth of information such as: product readiness for launch, consumer purchase decision process, market and demographic opportunity, flavor and texture profiles, competitive landscape and more. Curion was formed with the merger of Q Research Solutions and Tragon Corp.


Lisa Spathis, Lisa Spathis Public Relations, Inc.,
847. 831.1367



Around Town checks out Curion

Around Town checks out Curion 150 150 Katie Maslanka

On Wednesday, February 6, 2019 Curion Deerfield was featured on Chicago’s very own WGN Morning News segment Around Town with Ana Belaval! During this segment, Curion’s world class facilities, sensory processes, data insights and talent were showcased. Check out the video below to see how Curion is not only able to provide consumers with a fun way to try new products, but also how valuable consumer feedback is provided to clients.

Curion Appoints Sean Bisceglia as Chief Executive Officer

Curion Appoints Sean Bisceglia as Chief Executive Officer 150 150 Katie Maslanka

Seasoned Executive Joins Leader in Sensory Evaluation Research

CHICAGO, IL—NOVEMBER 14, 2018—Curion, a leader in sensory and consumer product research, announced the appointment of Sean B. Bisceglia as Chief Executive Officer, effective immediately. Previous to Curion, Mr. Bisceglia held the Chief Executive Officer role in four previous companies over his 25 year business career. 

“Curion is an incredible company with a singular passion to serve their customers and their employees” said Mr. Bisceglia. “With some of the most recognizable global brands as our clients, I am excited to lead the company and continue to grow the customer base and product offerings. The growth will come from three key initiatives, including expanding our services within our blue chip customer base, acquiring new clients in innovative and emerging brands and expanding our world class panels.  We believe that the consumer insight sensory market is poised for disruption and are excited to roll out innovative products and service offerings in the near future.”

Mr. Bisceglia’s background in building companies, combined with his deep customer-centric relationships with Fortune 500 companies, will drive sensory panel expansion and will allow the company to continue to exceed the needs of its customers. Mr. Bisceglia will also leverage his leadership and expertise in recruiting technology to reach and engage more panelists.

Mr. Bisceglia’s business success began 25 years ago when he founded TFA, a technology-focused ad agency that achieved significant success. TFA was sold to Leo Burnett in 1998. After TFA, Mr. Bisceglia partnered with William Blair Ventures to acquire Corporate Project Resources, Inc (“CPRi”) where he doubled revenues in less than 2 years. In 2007, Mr. Bisceglia founded TalentDrive, where he formed one of the first technology-enabled staffing businesses in the industry. In 2013, Mr. Bisceglia founded and became CEO of Scout Exchange, a platform for marketplace recruiting that serves Fortune 500 companies. Most recently, Bisceglia served as an Operating Partner at Sterling Partners.


ABOUT Curion
Curion is a leader in sensory and consumer product research to top companies across the United States.  Curion pioneered many of the sensory methodologies considered to be today’s industry standards. Curion serves Fortune 500 and other blue-chip customers in the food & beverage, personal care, fine fragrance, and home & fabric care industries utilizing its testing facilities in California, Chicago, New Jersey, and Dallas, TX. Curion was formed with the merger of Q Research Solutions and Tragon Corp in 2018.


Lisa Spathis, Lisa Spathis Public Relations, Inc.,
(847) 831-1367

Curion adds 3 Sensory & Consumer Experts.

Curion adds 3 Sensory & Consumer Experts. 150 150 Katie Maslanka

Curion3 = Exponential Talent for Curion

We are very excited to add Anthony, Rebecca, and Sheri to our team!


Anthony Walton
 Sensory & Consumer Insights Manager 

Anthony puts his relationships with clients above all else, valuing a collaborative approach for all projects.  He comes to Curion with 11 years of experience in the market research industry, spanning both the supplier and client side of the aisle. Anthony has primarily focused in the food and beverage sector but also has experience in home and personal care.  Through a workbook of various methodologies, he has helped a number of Fortune 500 companies build and maintain successful portfolios.  From his experience working onsite for various clients Anthony has gained an appreciation for the nuances involved in working with cross-functional teams to answer project objectives for all business units involved.  Anthony holds a BS from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale.

Rebecca Maine
Senior Manager, Sensory & Consumer Insights

Rebecca’s tenured career experience in CPG companies provide her with a holistic understanding of the product development process. She has a proven track record of utilizing this background to construct sensory and consumer science programs to guide an array of product development initiatives. Rebecca relies on proven methods and innovative thinking to design tests that yield successful results. Rebecca holds an MS from the Pennsylvania State University and a Bachelor of Science from the University of Missouri-Columbia in Food Sciences with a heavy emphasis in her studies on sensory science.

Sheri Forzley
SVP, Consumer & Sensory Sciences

Sheri values a holistic approach to research incorporating various qualitative and quantitative methods to develop an insightful story with the data. It is her belief that this in-depth understanding of what drives consumer delight should be at the heart of all product design and product development efforts. Sheri comes to Curion with over 25 years of research experience. She has spent 15 years in global and regional leadership positions spanning categories from personal care to confections. Sheri received her PhD in Physiological Psychology from Texas Tech University, followed by a 3 year post-doctoral position at Monell Chemical Senses Center.

2018 SSP Conference

2018 SSP Conference 150 150 Katie Maslanka

2018 SSP Conference
September 26-28
Cleveland, Ohio

Tuesday September 25, 2018



The Curion Team raises a toast to celebrate our time together and SSP’s 10 Year Anniversary.




Wednesday September 26, 2018






We can’t resist a little sensory evaluation
of donuts and coffee.








we went out and explore the town together




We really enjoyed connecting with our sensory colleagues to share and discuss new ideas.




SSP is truly a great community and this year was extra special for Curion as we were able to showcase our new brand.




Our team presented four posters and watched our own Caryn Crawford in the Context Throw Down.

Leveraging context evaluations for product guidance

What plays a bigger role in purchase decision, the environmental context or the sensory characteristics of the product within the category (product context) ?



Sensory testing traditionally involves explicit, self-report ratings of products’ taste, smell, touch, etc. However, advances in psychology and neuroscience indicate that humans also react implicitly to such stimuli. In other words, we have automatic, nonconscious, System 1 responses.

Curion and Emotive Analytics collaborated to explore how targeted consumers implicitly reacted to and explicitly evaluated several product categories (both fragrance and food/beverage).

We used an adaptation of the Affect Misattribution Procedure (AMP) to study System 1 reactions to products. The AMP has amassed impressive credentials over the past 10 years in part because it does not rely on reaction time. AMP is an indirect method; meaning respondents are primed with a stimulus of interest then asked about something else.

Although most of the implicit and explicit feelings were consistent across the products, some were not. Both consistencies and inconsistencies informed go-or-no-go decisions, as well as potential improvements that were not meeting strategic emotional goals.

Diagnostic Descriptive Analysis

Many client companies are searching for a method that will quickly guide product development for prototype revision or for choosing products to move to the next research step.

Diagnostic Descriptive Analysis is a method created by the authors of Curion Quantitative Descriptive Analysis (QDA)®. DDA uses a condensed consumer based language allowing rapid and reliable decisions for the next stage of product development.


  • Curion’s Quantitative Descriptive Analysis (QDA)® is a behavioral descriptive analysis approach where panel members, who are users and likers of the category, measure a product’s sensory similarities and differences using the developed everyday consumer language.
  • Traditionally, QDA is conducted with product evaluations on-site. However many research objectives and categories (e.g. personal care products) necessitate evaluations in an off-site location [i.e. Home Use Testing (HUT)].
  • This research demonstrates how Curion QDA, typically conducted on-site, can be used for products traditionally evaluated in a Home Use Test.

A Qualitative Approach

  • Refining concepts and products during early innovation can prove to be a struggle for developers and marketers. Crafting a promising concept into a product that meets expectations, promotes trial and delivers on repeat purchase often involves trial, error, time, money and frustration.
  • Developers are often faced with:
    • Formulating a product experience to meet a concept with very little technical guidelines
    • Shorter timelines to launch
    • Less available resources for multiple rounds of consumer testing
  • In response to these needs, Curion created Qualitative Sensory Immersion (QSI)®, a sensory immersive technique which is qualitative in nature, steeped in sensory principles, and is constructed as an iterative approach.
  • This case study shows how a client was able to use QSI to engineer a refrigerated product which was satisfying and delivered on the freshness proposition.

Thursday September 27, 2018



We are profoundly grateful to the Society of Sensory Professionals & the city of Cleveland for hosting the 2018 SSP Conference!





To request information please contact Katerina Maslanka.

Curion is ready for 2018 SSP!

Curion is ready for 2018 SSP! 612 1008 Katie Maslanka

The team at Curion is super excited about participating in the upcoming 2018 SSP Conference in Cleveland.

We can’t wait to reveal our newly branded booth, display our poster presentations and participate in the “Context Throwdown.”

We’re looking forward to seeing and speaking with you in Cleveland. Stop by our booth #10, you might just get a charge out of it. Curious?


The Curion Team

Proven Methods. Fresh Thinking.

Curion Hosts the April NCIFT Event

Curion Hosts the April NCIFT Event 150 150 Katie Maslanka

Curion Hosts the April NCIFT Event at its San Francisco Facility

Redwood City, CA – Curion, LLC hosted the Northern California Institute for Food Technology event on April 12th at its San Francisco Metro area facility. Members from around Northern California came to learn more about Curion and Sensory & Consumer Research.

Stations were set up for attendees to put themselves in the consumers’ shoes and participate in various activities, including an in-booth consumer assessment test, an in-booth discrimination test, and the opportunity to interact with a QDA moderator. All activities were modeled similar to how actual respondents and panelists experience the sensory evaluation methodologies.

The highlight of the evening was the keynote address, which was delivered by Joel Sidel, a co-founder of Tragon – one of Curion’s predecessor companies. Sidel, a trained psychologist, and Dr. Herbert Stone, a food scientist, collaborated to understand consumer behavior and their responses to various sensory experiences. Together they defined the standard on advancing sensory evaluation as an industry method of measuring and understanding customer perception. From their work, Quantitative Descriptive Analysis (QDA) ® was born—a new way of understanding and using sensory evaluation. According to Sarah Choe, Curion’s Manager of Sensory & Consumer Insights, “This was a special opportunity for NCIFT members to hear about Joel Sidel’s perspective on the QDA methodology. Members were also able to ask questions regarding their industry applications of the method directly to Sidel himself, whose feedback is invaluable.”

NCIFT attendees also had the opportunity to explore the facility and follow a self-guided tour to learn about the history of sensory and consumer research, news and facts about Curion, and view Curion’s San Francisco facility.


Photogrophy Credits: Katerina Maslanka & Elaine Chow

Curion Announces the Opening of its New State of the Art Dallas Facility

Curion Announces the Opening of its New State of the Art Dallas Facility 150 150 Katie Maslanka

Dallas, Texas – Curion, LLC, announces the grand opening of its new Dallas area testing and sensory facility which is located in Irving, Texas. David Japhet, Curion’s CEO, stated that “This new facility broadens our coverage over 4 key US census areas, which includes New York, Chicago and San Francisco, providing our clients with a network of nationwide locations under the operational control and ridged standards of Curion, to ensure quality and reliability of their consumer and sensory testing.” 

According to Donald Tucker, Curion’s VP of Testing Operations, “the new location was specifically designed and engineered to ensure we can store, prepare and test all product experiences exactly to client specifications and testing needs.”  The kitchen area offers state-of-the-art open floor plan with a 20’ commercial hood, both gas and electric ovens and burners, walk-in cooler and freezer, Pitco-Frialator gas fryers, 10 microwave ovens that can be run simultaneously, flattop grill, ice machine, three compartment sink & commercial dishwasher. The hood and all of the kitchen hook-ups are designed so that clients can bring in specialized equipment to create “in-store” environments.

The focus room contains smart board technology and traditional white boards and can seat up to 20 panelists classroom style. There’s a comfortable focus group viewing area with translation equipment, HD recording and streaming, as well as a private viewing room for up to 15 client representatives where they can view the on-going research and work productively. Additionally, there are 30 sensory booths with a mirror-image of the respondent’s computer screen for client viewing during the testing.

The grand opening which was held on April 9th featured a ribbon-cutting ceremony and personal tours of the facility. Individuals who would like to schedule a private tour can contact Donald Tucker, Curion’s VP of Testing Operations at or by calling (708) 906-1875.

About Curion, LLC

Curion has a heritage of over 65 years in consumer and sensory testing, and offers specialized facilities in San Francisco, Dallas, Chicago, and New York City metropolitan areas with expertise in food, beverage, personal care, fine fragrance, and home & fabric care. Curion has pioneered many of the sensory consumer insight methodologies considered industry standards today, including Quantitative Descriptive Analysis (QDA)® and Partnership Solutions™.