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Curion Hires 35 New Employees to Support Company Growth

Curion Hires 35 New Employees to Support Company Growth 150 150 Katie Maslanka

Curion’s Growth Plan for 2019 is 32%.

    “We have brought in professionals from leading Fortune 500 companies, including leading data companies and airlines as we need support to continue our growth and continue to develop and introduce new products.”

In an effort to keep up with their explosive growth and new initiatives, Deerfield based Curion, http://www.curioninsights.com, a leader in sensory and consumer product research and serves Fortune 500 and other blue-chip CPG customers in the food & beverage, personal care, fragrance and home & fabric industries, has hired 35 new employees since the beginning of 2019. Under the direction of CEO Sean Bisceglia, who joined the company in November 2018, Curion has introduced a number of new initiatives including eFive ™, a product that quickly delivers reliable consumer insights and is both affordable for emerging brands and positioned to be part of the agile development process that large CPG companies require. S2P followed, where Curion evaluates features that are important to maximizing liking and integrate product, packaging and positioning to reinforce each other. The latest innovation is Life Labs™, an initiative that tests products to gain consumer insights in a real-life environment. These services have fueled the company’s need to bring on seasoned experts in a number of different departments throughout the organization.

According to Bisceglia, “Curion is moving in innovative directions very quickly. We have recently introduced eFive ™ and Life Labs™ to our offerings. With our services for our customers expanding and the increasing number of industries we are serving, our internal staff needs to be broad-based and stacked with leaders in all areas of concentration. We have hired outside of our industry to add invaluable insight and perspective as Curion continues to evolve. Says Bisceglia, “We have brought in professionals from leading Fortune 500 companies, including leading data companies and airlines as we need support to continue our growth and continue to develop and introduce new products. These additions to our company will ensure that we can provide our clients with the most exceptional talent across the industry.”

The largest increase for Curion in hires has been in the Sales, Analytics and Marketing teams. This investment has already paid off as Curion has recently been recognized for their marketing efforts for several campaigns, including the Association of Marketing and Communication Professionals as dotCOMM award winners and through the Summit International Awards organization as Summit Creative Award winners.

About Curion:

At Curion, we provide world-class insights. From quantitative to qualitative product research, we apply proven industry-leading, innovative methods to service over 65% of Global 100 companies. As a full-service product and sensory insights firm, we work with our clients to determine not only what products consumers like but why they are liked and how to make optimizations. As a result, our clients mitigate risk of marketplace failure by ensuring that only products of quality and character will be introduced to the market, providing repeatable delight to their consumers. We accomplish this with our expert employees, sensory processes, fully-equipped facilities and data insights. In 2018 alone, we tested 97,000 consumers across our San Francisco, Chicago, Dallas and New York metropolitan-area facilities. The result of a merger between Q Research Solutions and Tragon Corp., our company brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the consumer and sensory science industries and pioneered many of the sensory methodologies considered industry standards today, including Quantitative Descriptive Analysis (QDA)® and Partnership Solutions™.

 

Curion offers four diverse ways to test potential products, gather consumer insights – Food Navigator-USA

Curion offers four diverse ways to test potential products, gather consumer insights – Food Navigator-USA 150 150 Katie Maslanka

How consumers buy and experience food is changing with the emergence of online shopping and a busy on-the-go culture, so it only makes sense that how companies test potential new products also evolves to better align with modern usage and values, according to consumer insight and product testing firm Curion.

“Consumer habits and styles are changing, including where they are shopping, the brands they want, what they look for, the value propositions and claims and packaging and tastes they like – it is all changing,”​ Curion CEO Sean Bisceglia told FoodNavigator-USA at the Digital Food & Beverage conference​ in Austin, Texas.

And as such, he explained, companies can no longer rely on old taste test data that may have helped them create successful products in the past but which is no longer current. Neither can they rely on the same old tactics for reaching consumers, such as rounding them up at a mall for a small focus group, in part because these strategies can take too long in today’s rapid innovation cycle, he said.

In response, Bisceglia said, Curion has developed four new ways of connecting with consumers or analyzing taste and sensory data to distinguish whether a new product will be a success.

The first is a new “self-serve” online portal called eFive that launched in February and is all about helping companies “fail fast and fail cheap,”​ Biscelgia said.

He explained that the sensory and product insights platform is specifically designed for emerging brands – whether at a startup or within a larger established company – that are trying to get to market as fast as possible with a minimally viable product.

Recognizing that emerging brands often have more limited budgets, eFive is an “off-the-shelf”​ take on Curion’s more traditional and tailored sensory testing that comes in around $7,500 versus $50,000 for Curion’s more premium offerings. The platform allows brands go online and choose how many products it wants to test, where it wants to test them, how many consumers it wants and then “swipe the credit card and off you go,”​ Biscelgia said.

[Editor’s note: See Curion in action at our upcoming Food For Kids conference in Chicago in the fall. Find all the details HERE​.]

“Big data” could provide answers to big questions​

The second way that Curion hopes to soon help brands is by harnessing the sensory data it has collected from testing more than 7,000 products in 30 categories with more than a half million consumers over the years.

Curion is still working out the kinks on how companies will be able to access the data, but the general idea is that brands can come to Curion with specific questions and based on anonymized past consumer test results Curion can provide detailed guidance and answers.

For example, if a company wanted to launch a new oatmeal but wasn’t sure what type of raisin to include, Curion could comb through its past data to provide insights on how consumers responded to different types of raisins in different oatmeals. Or, if a company wanted to develop an oatmilk, Curion could provide guidance on what qualities consumers like and don’t like about the category.

“We might be putting ourselves out of business with this, but the data we have is very valuable and can be harnessed to help brands go to market faster and be more agile,”​ he said.

Curion hopes to pilot this “big data play” by January 2020, and then make it available more broadly after that.

Life Labs allows for real life testing​

The third way that Curion already is helping brands gather consumer insights in today’s quickly evolving world, is through its Life Labs program, which is about to get a boost with a few prospective in context partners.

“We are exploring a potential partnership with an international shared workspace. This will allow us to pop-up​ anywhere in their 300 locations”​ to test a product and gain consumer insights in a real-life environment, Biscelgia said.

The Life Labs program also works with gyms and other community hubs to test products “in a more natural environment” with people who are eager to be apart of the creation process, he added.

Behavior scientists in the Life Labs program also offer virtual reality rooms where they create mock ups of how a product might look on a store shelf and then tracks participants decision-making process as they “shop” and evaluate products.

The fourth way that Curion hopes to help companies evaluate potential products is by expanding all of its services beyond just food and beverage to include testing consumers’ sensory experiences with electronics, automobiles, packaging and more, Biscelgia said.

“Right now we are only in food, but I see a lot of potential beyond food that will follow the same general testing principles,”​ he said.

Yuck or yum? Learn from Curion about how it conducts product testing with kids at the FoodNavigator-USA FOOR FOR KIDS summit​ November 18-20.

 

 

Curion offers four diverse ways to test potential products, gather consumer insights
By Elizabeth Crawford
19 August 2019

Curion: First Impressions – Prepared Foods

Curion: First Impressions – Prepared Foods 150 150 Katie Maslanka

A consumer’s embrace of a new brand begins before they ever try the product. If the packaging is inappropriate, brand acceptance can fail and consumers may not choose the product to start with. That’s why first impressions matter.

For example, in a FoodDive article on packaging fails, there is the story about Sun Chips’ biodegradable bag made from plants. What Millennial wouldn’t love that? But sales began to decline shortly after launch because the bag made a loud “grumbling” noise that consumers said reminded them of a jet engine or lawnmower. It even spawned a Facebook group called “Sorry but I can’t hear you over this Sun Chips bag.”

This is just the type of scenario Curion can help brands avoid. A well-respected partner to leading consumer brands in the area of product and sensory testing, Curion is now turning its research and consumer expertise toward packaging.

“We believe in a holistic approach,” says Sean Bisceglia, Curion’s CEO. “All elements of a brand’s offering — the product, positioning, messaging and the package itself — need to tell a cohesive story, one that gives consumers a reason-to-believe that this product is the right one for them.”

The goal of Curion’s consumer driven package design approach is to develop the ultimate prototype and test its viability with consumers. This rigorous system, designed by Curion’s Andrew Livermore PhD, Senior Vice President for Product and Client Services, is already available at Curion sites across the nation.

Says Livermore, “Big CPG companies spend a lot of time and money developing products, but the packaging often doesn’t get the same emphasis. We work alongside brand marketers, designers, and product developers, taking them through a six-step process that identifies the functional and emotional benefits most important to the target consumers. This informs the creation of packaging prototypes with strong consumer appeal that reinforce the concept and positioning. We then put prototypes in front of consumer panels and even gain insights from large-scale confirmatory testing.”

For example, sustainable packaging is also imperative today for many retailers like Wal-Mart who have set high standards, demanding that packaging for their private brands be recyclable or compostable by 2025.

Adds Livermore, “Our process answers questions such as: Is the product positioned for sustainability? Does the packaging reflect those values? You may not want a health bar in a non-recyclable package. ”

Curion’s consumer-driven packaging design approach addresses the above questions and drills down into others, such as:

•    Does package design fit your product concept?

•    Does it take a creative approach to restraints such as budget, time to market, and types of materials?

•    Can it be executed without unreasonable demands?

•    Does it reflect the appropriate functional and emotional benefits?

•    Is it differentiated from competitors?

•    Does it check all the boxes for sensory appeal on the shelf?

“The main goal of our packaging research,” adds Mr. Bisceglia, “is to mitigate risk on behalf of our clients. We are thorough. Our approach combines qualitative and quantitative methodologies.”

Curion’s Qualitative Sensory Immersion (QSI) identifies key features that enhance product trial and repeat purchase through collaboration with articulate and involved consumers. Adds Livermore, “Using this tool for packaging allows us to tap attributes such as alignment with brand, concept, the products function, ergonomics, usability, materials, believability, sustainability and quality. We also learn what is most important to them and what drives them crazy. All these insights get built into our prototypes.”

“On the quantitative side,” he adds, “we recruit consumers from our extensive database. They provide feedback on prototypes regarding overall liking, drivers of consumer appeal, fit to product concept, uniqueness and emotional profile. The value of this Qual-Quant method is that it combines the rich learnings from talking and interacting with consumers — backed by the numerical validation that comes from data analytics. This helps transform packaging concepts into best-possible prototypes that have strong consumer appeal.”

Curion is a leader in sensory and consumer product research and serves Fortune 500 and other blue-chip customers in the food & beverage, personal care, fine fragrance, and home & fabric care industries. In 2018 alone, the company tested 97,000 consumers in its facilities in California, Chicago, Dallas, and New Jersey. Curion’s data analytics give brand owners what they need most: product readiness for launch, consumer purchase decision process, competitive landscape and more.

The result of a merger between Q Research Solutions and Tragon Corp., Curion brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the consumer and sensory science industry. The company pioneered many of the sensory methodologies considered industry standards today, including Quantitative Descriptive Analysis (QDA)®  and Partnership Solutions (PS).

Visit www.curioninsights.com for more information.


Curion: First Impressions
Curion applies its research lens to consumer-driven package design
21 May 2019

 

Yuck or yum? Product testing with children – FoodNavigator-USA

Yuck or yum? Product testing with children – FoodNavigator-USA 150 150 Katie Maslanka

Do kids always prefer sweeter products than adults? And are children’s palates really more conservative, or have we ‘trained’ them to like a limited set of flavors (banana, chocolate, vanilla, strawberry) by playing it safe with new launches? And how do you conduct product testing with three-year olds?

For a start, said Keren Novack, VP sensory and consumer insights at Deerfield, IL-based consumer insights and product testing specialist Curion​, CPG companies need to develop products that parents will like as much as their kids, even if they are not the target consumer.

“A lot of products we test that are geared towards children are also tested with parents, because very rarely does a parent give something to a young child that they have not first tested themselves,”​ she told FoodNavigator-USA.

“As far as the taste goes, how the children rate it matters the most, but you want to make sure that the product is not rejected by the parents.”

If parents and​ very young children consistently prefer product A over product B, meanwhile, the more detailed answers that the adults are able to provide on specific product attributes might help clients unpack what is determining liking among the kids, which three-year olds may not be able to articulate if you ask them, she said.

Children can be much more adventurous than we give them credit for​

So what about flavor preferences? Are kids as conservative as we think? It’s hard to say because packaged food companies – unlike parents trying to get their kids to eat veggies at home – want to make products that kids will embrace immediately, not something that they might like after repeated exposure, which can encourage an inherent conservatism, said Novack.

Put another way, if we only expose kids to a limited number of flavors, they will inevitably have a less adventurous palate, she speculated.

“Children can be much more adventurous than we give them credit for. What I’ve found from personal experience is that if you just put broccoli or whatever the new food is on the plate every meal, then after a while they might eat it.

“But if you’re buying a snack for your child’s lunchbox, you are often scared if kids don’t like something straightaway as you don’t want to waste time and money and you want them to eat, so you can tend to stick to the more familiar products.

“It’s also why products have a lot of sugar added because it increases the likelihood that the children will like them straightaway. But you wonder if that is because we’ve just exposed them to so much sugar.”

Do kids like food with ‘bits’?​

The same might also apply to texture, she postulated. If you give babies “mushy​” pureed foods for any length of time, could this make them more suspicious of different textures?

With the baby led weaning movement, where you’re encouraged to expose them to pieces of food off your plate earlier, I have to think that the exposure to those different textures might impact what they end up liking later.”

She added: “One thing I also warn my clients is that if you just take one or two bites of something in a testing booth, you can often prefer a product with more sugar or a stronger flavor, but if you were to take the product home and eat the entire box, the flavor build and development can be very different, so you have to factor that in. The sweeter products often win out in early testing, but I think we are seeing a shift now.”

Blind taste testing​

While packaged food is not consumed ‘blind’ (it always comes in a package with branding and messaging which can have a huge impact on how its contents are perceived), there is still value in blind testing at the product development phase, said Novack.

We always say that marketing will do all the work to get people to buy a product the first time, but that our our job​ ​[for Curion’s CPG clients] is to get people to buy the product a second time.​ So when you’re considering different prototypes or you want to know how your product stacks up against the competition, blind testing is very important.”

If your product performs better in blind taste tests than a rival brand with stronger sales, for example, you might need to look again at your packaging or marketing.

One interesting phenomenon, said Novack, is that the market leading product is not always the most liked product in blind taste tests with adults, whereas with kids, that is more likely to be the case.

“We’ve had kids say, ‘Excuse me, I don’t like this,’ and push it back through the window,” says Curion VP sensory and consumer insights, Keren Novack. “Kids are not afraid to tell you the truth.”

The logistics of product testing with children​

When it comes to designing tests, “obviously what a six-year-old can handle is very different from what an 18-year old can handle, so with adults we’ll use a nine point hedonic scale, whereas for younger kids we may use a three-point scale for liking but also for things like flavors, colors, and textures,” ​she said.

“Was the flavor too strong, too weak, or just about right? 

One thing we’ve also noticed is that adults tend to have what we call ‘end scale avoidance’ and are almost afraid to mark the very highest point, whereas if a kid likes something they will often give it the highest mark. But that can make it hard to compare two products they like.”

So what about babies and toddlers?

“We’ve actually done tests with children that are just a year old, and when you’re talking about a child that young, they are obviously not filling in a questionnaire on a computer,” ​joked Novack. “Rather the parents are looking for cues from their children as to whether they like something or not. However, at that age it’s quite simply will they eat it, but you can also see which ones they choose from a selection of products.

“For particularly young children you can have an interviewer read some questions and the older children get the more complex you can make the scale. If I have a 12 or 13 year old in sitting a testing booth however, I’d consider putting them on the similar scales to the adults.”

Can you train your kids to love broccoli?​

Find out at FoodNavigator-USA’s FOOD FOR KIDS summit​ in Chicago November 18-20, where delegates can hear from Dr Catherine Forestell, associate professor, at the department of psychological sciences at William & Mary, who will explore when and how children’s flavor preferences are developed, why children prefer or dislike certain foods, and whether we can shift these hardwired preferences through early sensory experience.

You can also learn more about product testing with Curion and others in our new panel session: Yuck or Yum: Product testing with kids.

Get full details about the summit​​ HERE​​​.

 

 

FOOD FOR KIDS: Yuck or yum? Product testing with children
By Elaine Watson
03 May 2019

Is Cannabis Ready for Sensory Testing? – Prepared Foods

Is Cannabis Ready for Sensory Testing? – Prepared Foods 150 150 Katie Maslanka

Anyone who recently has visited Colorado, California or the District of Columbia knows that cannabis dispensaries are a dynamic part of the retail landscape. This also is occurring in states where regulations permit only medicinal, or CBD-infused products.

Of course regulatory issues represent the biggest challenge at the moment. In the US, where cannabis is being legalized on a state-by-state basis, brands must be rigorous with their on-pack communications. There are state and FDA laws, child-resistant provisions, as well as THC and CBD ingredient disclosures. Labeling laws are the biggest hurdles—particularly since they are different in every state and are periodically updated.

That said, new brands are springing up everywhere. And CBD-infused products that contain no THC ingredients are easy to find throughout the US. The variations seem to be limitless. Think about it: cannabis is now found in confections, beverages, edibles, skin-care products, pharmaceuticals and sprays.

You also see celebrities including Snoop Dogg, Martha Stewart and Whoopi Goldberg establishing brands. This is a no brainer. They are leveraging their celebrity and fan base. It will get trickier when we begin to see cannabis-infused products from established consumer names, like Coca-Cola, Heineken or Nestlé.

For the time being, these larger companies are in a holding pattern to see what the future regulatory landscape looks like and how cannabis brands play out with consumers. But legacy brands are long-time believers and subscribers of consumer product testing. They know the advantages to be gained by engaging their audience before hitting the shelf.

This helps them gain insights on consumer tastes and preferences, which are vital to creating a positive consumer “experience.” Testing also allows brands to make changes to taste profiles and packaging in order to mitigate the risks that drive today’s super-competitive landscape.

Cannabis brands have to answer the same questions as any consumer product. These include several fundamental and critical questions, such as: 

*Are we delivering a product with strong consumer appeal?

*Are we able to truly differentiate this product from competition?

*Are we able to provide users with a reason to believe this product it will meet or exceed the item’s functional and/or emotional benefits?

There are a host of additional questions that are no less important.

*Who is our target audience?

*What features are they looking for in this type of product? Which of these are most important (drivers of liking) and which should we avoid?

*How much do they like our product compared to other offerings? Which do they prefer and why?

*What is their preferred flavor profile and how do we achieve it?

*How important is flavor compared to the look, feel, packaging and claims?

*How and when will they use the product, what are the usage occasions that we should focus on? What products is it competing with for these occasions?

Sensory Testing

If your company is wrestling with any or all of these questions, you need look no further than sensory testing.

Curion Insights uses its expertise in product research—specifically “sensory” consumer and market testing in a wealth of product categories—to take a holistic view of consumer experience. We test products and packaging through each of the senses: sight, smell, sound, touch and taste. These need to come together to engage the consumer and validate the promise of the brand.

As with any other successful product, new cannabis brands also need sensory and consumer research to optimize a new product’s appeal. For CBD-infused products that contain no active (recreational) ingredients such as THC, product testing is much the same as it is for any consumer category.

A CBD product’s sensory attributes need to be appropriate to its specific character. For example, we may be asking whether a CBD-infused gummy tastes different from a regular one. Or do consumers perceive that the product gives off a particular smell because of its association with cannabis? (And if so, are these good or bad things? After all, when you test mouthwash, it needs to have just the right amount of burn or people don’t believe it works.)

Curion also can gather and test sensory, consumer and marketing claims—such as “lemony fresh aroma,” “relieves muscle aches” or “all natural.” This helps brand owners better understand how these factors may influence consumer appeal.

In addition, research also includes a variety of non-product specific features—from graphics, colors and messaging to child-resistant labeling and plant traceability. Moreover, anything subject to regulatory labeling is critical to cannabis brands.

There also are other requirements for testing products that may have an intoxicating effect. Consumer testing has been a longstanding practice for beer, wine and spirits brands as well as for cigarettes.

When there is the possibility of intoxication, we use standard protocols that include: waiting periods, eating before and after and drinking plenty of liquids. Having a sensory testing partner with a deep understanding of both effective product testing—as well as regulatory mandates—will be increasingly vital as more new products enter the arena.

Curion also offers consumer insights research. Along with sensory testing, consumer insights data offer a wealth of information that can influence key decisions about: product readiness for launch, the consumer purchase decision process, market and demographic opportunity, packaging appeal, and how the brand performs against competition.

Cannabis may be an emerging category, but the competition for consumers is going to be fierce—especially when more big brands get into the game. Product testing not only mitigates failure, it taps the emotional and sensory brain of the consumer to create a compelling experience that helps a product stand out in a crowded marketplace.

About Curion Insights

Curion is a leader in sensory and consumer product research and serves Fortune 500 and other blue-chip customers in the food and beverage, personal care, fine fragrance, and home and fabric care industries.

In 2018 alone, the company hosted 97,000 test consumers in its facilities in California, Chicago, Dallas, and New Jersey. The result of a merger between Q Research Solutions and Tragon Corp., Curion brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the consumer and sensory science industry. The company pioneered many of the sensory methodologies considered industry standards today, including Quantitative Descriptive Analysis (QDA®) and Partnership Solutions (PS).

About Sean Bisceglia

Mr. Bisceglia served as an Operating Partner at Sterling Partners for two years before joining Curion Insights as CEO. 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. Bisceglia then partnered with William Blair to acquire CPRI, where he doubled revenues in less than two years. In 2007, he founded TalentDrive, one of the first technology-enabled staffing businesses.


Cannabis Product Testing
Product testing will play an increasingly important role as the cannabis industry gains momentum
01 May 2019

 

Curion eyeing significant growth through M&A – Mergermarket

Curion eyeing significant growth through M&A – Mergermarket 150 150 Katie Maslanka

Curion Insights, a Deerfield, Illinois-based consumer insights research firm, will pursue bolt-on acquisitions as it looks to triple in size by 2021, CEO Sean Bisceglia said.

Bisceglia was appointed CEO of the company in late March. Through a combination of organic growth and M&A, he said the company hopes to boost annual revenue from a projected USD 30m this year to more than USD 100m in 2021.

Curion has traditionally focused on sensory insight research around food, beverages, fragrances and skincare, but Bisceglia said he believes the company can expand into new verticals including consumer electronics and automobiles through acquisitions.

It also hopes to add research capabilities around packaging and neurosensory work. “These types of capabilities have to be acquired because the research methods are already built and the talent is really hard to get,” Bisceglia explained.

Ideal targets would be similar in size to Curion, but those are hard to find because the market research space is a “cottage industry” with many small players that range in size from USD 3m to USD 5m, he said.

“We’ll look at (targets) in the USD 20m to USD 30m range, but my bet is that if we want to go into packaging or neurosensory work, the deals will be smaller,” Bisceglia said.

Curion is focused on growing in North America, Bisceglia said, adding that targets in Canada that would further its cannabis research initiatives would be desirable. Bisceglia, who most recently served as an operating partner at investment firm Sterling Partners, said the company will likely leverage his expertise and that of the company’s investors to pursue acquisitions and will not retain a banker.

Curion was founded through a 2017 merger of two companies, KLH Capital-backed Q Research Solutions and Tragon Corp. The company was recapitalized by Monroe Capital at that time, Bisceglia said, and KLH remains an investor. The company rebranded as Curion the following year.

Curion uses consumer panels and specialized testing facilities to provide its customers with market research insights surrounding areas such purchasing decisions and flavor and texture profiles. Its customers include Fortune 500 companies in the consumer products industry, and it has tested over 500,000 consumers to date.

This year, the company launched a new platform called eFive Insights, intended to provide a low-cost research portal for emerging consumer brands, which are beginning to grow market share in the consumer products space. The company is also working to leverage its nearly 30 million rows of data by building a proprietary data analytics platform, Bisceglia said.

Regarding long term plans for Curion, Bisceglia noted his track record of previous exits. “Every company I’ve sold has been sold to a strategic,” he said.

Bisceglia previously founded HR technology company TalentDrive and ad agency TFA, which was sold to Leo Burnett in 1998. In addition, he acquired market staffing firm CPRi in 2003 and partnered with William Blair to make six bolt-on acquisitions in 16 months, before the firm was sold to Aquent, Bisceglia said.

Strategic acquirers that could be interested in companies such as Curion include larger competitors like France-based Ipsos [EPA:IPS] and UK-based MMR, as well as holding companies such as WPP [LON: WPP] and Omnicom [NYSE:OMC], according to Bisceglia.

Multiples for market research firms typically range from 5x to 8 x EBITDA, he said, but targets with proprietary technology can sometimes command double-digit multiples.

 

Curion eyeing significant growth through M&A, new CEO says
By Nidhi Madhavan in Chicago
05 April 2019

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, www.curioninsights.com, 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?

ANSWER:

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, www.curioninsights.com, 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 chicagolandfood.org. 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.

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For more information, please contact Andrea Carbine at andrea@chicagolandfood.org.

 

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

CHICAGO IL

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 www.efiveinsights.com

 

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.

 

CONTACT INFORMATION
Lisa Spathis, Lisa Spathis Public Relations, Inc.,
lisaspathis@gmail.com
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.