Understanding consumer preferences

Say potato, say Agrico

Innovative project to use games technology to develop perfect potato

Agrico UK has successfully secured a government funded 30-month Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) project in collaboration with Abertay University. The project aim is: ‘To design, develop, deploy and evaluate artificial intelligence (AI) solutions for gathering data from sensory evaluation of home use tests, to describe our potato varieties, based on acceptable attributes of taste combined with agronomic properties’. This project will build on our cross-cultural (UK, Egypt, and Germany) sensory project and central location consumer testing at Abertay and Queen Margaret universities.

Dr John Grigor (picture), from Abertay’s Division of Engineering and Food Science, said: “This project is scheduled to last for 30-months, and we are delighted to be working with Agrico UK Ltd on something that has the potential to make a real difference.”

Dr John Grigor Abertay University
Shutterstock 91610930

Sensory home-use-testing

There is a need to understand consumer preferences (particularly younger consumers) using technology to identify desirable organoleptic (sensory) characteristics of potato.

This will be achieved using sensory home-use-testing (HUT). HUT will generate insight into consumer preferences and show how potato consumption is embedded in actual culinary culture.

Understanding desirable organoleptic properties of potato is key to getting the right product to the end-user.

An app to generate predictive models

The HUT data will be gathered using an application (APP) or mobile-optimised webpage for use on a mobile device (phone/tablet) which will generate predictive models so that a flow of data is created to support business decisions throughout the year.

This tool will be developed by the computing team at Abertay and will undergo rigorous testing from consumer focus groups. The output will inform the wider potato industry including growers, packers, processors, and consumers whilst increasing business profit.

The tools developed and data analytics will facilitate the growth of existing seed potato markets and target new ones. Once procedures are in place for gathering sensory data in the UK, the technology will be extended to reach international consumers.

Predictive Models App
Steven Muir

Would you like to know more about research at Agrico UK?

Agrico Research works intensively on developing new, innovative potato varieties and is the leading knowledge institute in this field. We work on various breeding objectives aimed at developing varieties to meet the specific wishes of growers, the processing industry and consumer demand, both now and in the future, and around the world.

If you have a specific question or would like to know more about research carried out at Agrico UK, please feel free to contact us.

Steven Muir

Data Analyst / Sensory Scientist