For over the past decade Givaudan, in partnership with Bellomy, has been thinking about and collecting data for flavor segmentation. It started with a thought that flavor preferences aren’t bound by the traditional demographics we lean on for marketing, targeting or product development. Instead, it builds on another layer to understand how consumers fall into 4 flavor personality categories – Hesitator, Follower, Investigator and Trailblazer. And it turns out I am a Flavor Investigator.

What is a Flavor Investigator?

As soon as I found out where I belong in the FlavorFinders segments, I chuckled. My results reminded me of the Colin the Chicken clip from Portlandia that lives rent free in my mind. It perfectly and humorously sums up a Flavor Investigator. Take a peak >>>

Did you notice how many questions they had about Colin the Chicken? Do you do something similar when you try a food or do you have a friend that always has questions about the menu? Or do you analyze the nutritional label and ingredient lists for the products you pick up in the grocery store? If so, you could also be a part of 15% of the market that are Flavor Investigators.

Flavor Investigator Traits

According to our research, Flavor Investigators enjoy learning about their food and where it comes from among other preferences. They also prefer organic foods products that are local and are willing to pay for higher quality ingredients. Yup, that’s me. I want to know what I am eating is good for me and my body.

woman investigator with a magnifying glass

You can really get me hooked if there is a good sustainability story or transparency on the label about what is included in the product. When it comes to the back of the packaging I look for shorter ingredient labels and I study the nutritional label too. 

Just like other investigators, I am more adventurous when it comes to flavor and I like something that is a little different. Is the flavor combination unique? I will probably try it once I ask a few questions. 

Investigator Product Appeal

I shop at various grocery stores and love to venture down to Findlay Market, an outdoor public market in Cincinnati, when the weather is nice. Whole Foods is the grocery that is closest to my house so I would say I frequent that most often. I appreciate seeing their Food Ingredient Quality Standards because I like to learn about what is and isn’t in my food. But just because they carry a product at Whole Foods doesn’t mean it is appealing to me. Let me show you what I mean.

Juice

I love this Essential Greens Juice. This is something I would buy myself as a treat because they are $5 a pop and I love the way this tastes. It isn’t too sweet and it has all the healthy greens. This wouldn’t be something a Flavor Hesitator or even a Follower would gravitate towards, but they may be interested in “Strawberry Apple Juice” or “Orange Peach Mango Juice”, which aren’t things that find their way in my cart.

three bottles of juice

Nuts

Some kind of nut is normally in my list. Roasted and salted are my go-to’s but when I want something new I would try the Cinnamon wrapped cashews, some spicy Thai Curry Cashews or the Dill Pickle Almonds. Although I would love the Midnight Double Feature Trail Mix, it isn’t something that I would buy because I would eat the whole thing in one sitting (due to the chocolate).

containers of different types of nuts

Salad Dressing

I eat a salad nearly every day. The easiest way to add new flavor is with salad dressings. This past year I came across salad dressings from a company right here in Ohio called Cleveland Kitchen. They are delish, plant-based and have great macros. The second is my “ketchup.” I put Garlic Expressions Vinaigrette Dressing & Marinade on everything. And it is a condiment I think every single FlavorFinders segment would enjoy too.

bottles of salad dressing

Don’t get me wrong, I try really hard to eat healthy but there are times I love a good hot dog, I’ll treat myself to ice cream, or indulge in some cheesy pizza with some beers. Nonetheless, I wear my investigator badge proudly and am happy to know there is one other person on our team who falls into this segment too. 

Did you see our webinar introducing FlavorFinders? If not, reach out to your KAM for a recording. I may be biased but I thought it was one of the best webinars I have seen during COVID – and I have watched quite a few. 

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