Hyung is making “sense” of what consumers want
Meet Hyung Chang, principal sensory scientist, working at our Consumer Sensory Lab in Warren. She describes how we develop consumer products that spark the sensory reaction our consumers want. And in her spare time, she also finds a way to help her colleagues make sense of wine!
When we take a medicine or use a consumer healthcare product, like toothpaste, we experience a range of sensory signals. These signals can shape how we experience a product – does it smell pleasant; does it taste sweet or bitter? Scientists, like Hyung in our consumer healthcare business, are working to better understand these reactions and are using these insights to help shape our products so we can be confident they meet our consumers' needs.
Hyung’s role as a sensory scientist is to try to make the chemistry of the final product match what customers say they want to experience from the product. During her research, she will assess five sensory modules (appearance, smell, taste, mouth feel, and after taste) to measure the sensory characteristics of consumer products. This science can be applied to all products, including over-the-counter medicines.
When asked what attracted Hyung to sensory research, she shared:
After studying a food and nutrition course at University in Korea, I became fascinated with sensory science – the study of how people respond to sensory stimuli. This was a relatively new area of science at the time. It had been growing for around 50 years and few people appreciated how relevant it could be to product development.
Since joining GSK in August 2014, I have brought my knowledge of fast-moving consumer goods, biotechnology, and pharmacology to help produce a positive sensory response from our consumer products, such as, for example, developing a toothpaste that smells how consumers want it to.
And for fun, Hyung also uses her sensory expertise to educate others about the body’s senses and runs a weekly wine club at GSK where she helps her colleagues understand how to taste wine through a specific seven step sensory analysis method. What a great way to familiarize our colleagues in Warren with the five senses researched in our Consumer Sensory Lab. To this we say “Cheers!”
To read more about Hyung’s work and how GSK uses sensory research to create new consumer products, click here.