Rachel Matthews and her husband Ian opened Dancing Duck brewery in Derby, UK, in 2010 and by 2013 had successfully produced a range of 10 beers.
Sensory profiling techniques
This year the brewery wanted to freshen up the design of its bottles to reflect the expansion of its brewery and turned to The Food Innovation Centre at the University of Nottingham in a project to demonstrate the different flavors within its range of beers through the use of sensory profiling techniques.
It found star diagrams (ranking descriptive analysis) allowed the beer range to be profiled and described in a more consumer-friendly format.
“The business will be able to offer a new way of describing its beer product on the label to its consumers, based upon a formal Sensory Science process, to give it marketing advantage,” said Matthews.
LemonTop created a series of visuals based on the Dancing Duck theme, the name and the logo as inspiration for its design and the reverse of the bottle label is updated with a flavor wheel to give customers a better idea of the taste they will experience.
“The original labels had quite a unique die cut shape, giving the effect of the Dancing Duck breaking out of the label. We decided from the outset that this was one of the things that made the bottles stand out so we modified the shape to ensure the Duck still danced out of the label,” a spokesman said for LemonTop.
The Food Innovation Centre has helped over 100 food and drink businesses, ranging from brewers to bakers to chocolate makers, to tackle some of their innovation challenges or create inventive products.
Support includes advice on how to develop products, scale up, use new ingredients, improve nutritional profiles and make processes more efficient.
Food Innovation Centre
It has also helped firms to bring to life pioneering products to take advantage of some of the latest consumer trends and demands.
“Dancing Duck brewery was founded by husband and wife team Ian and Rachel in December 2010. Ian has worked as a brewery design engineer for 14 years, his job has taken him all over the world from Newcastle to Africa to Bury St Edmonds to the Caribbean to the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia and then back to Burton-on-Trent,” said Richard Worrall, project head, Food Innovation Centre.
“He advises on the design for breweries and how they will run most efficiently whilst having the least impact on the environment. Rachel is the head brewer and has won many awards for her beers.
“The project brief was Dancing Duck brewery needed some of its signature beers to be tested and qualitative/relative visual outputs such as (flavour lexicons, star diagrams) to be produced for use in marketing material with pub owners and consumers.
“This was to demonstrate the flavor differences within the range and the company’s attention to detail in respect of flavor. The Food Innovation Centre tested various hop oils in their brew, added post brew, to create potential new products with interesting characters.”
Research into rapid sensory profiling techniques has concluded that a form of flash profiling (ranking descriptive analysis) allows the beer range to be profiled using consumer-friendly language.
The Food Innovation Centre is a three-year project funded by the European Union through the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), based at the University of Nottingham’s Sutton Bonington Campus as part of the Division of Food Sciences.
It is a funded academic/commercial collaboration that provides free specialist innovation support to small and medium-sized food and drink companies in Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire.