Keep it great

5 senses design

More than technique or physical characteristics

It can be hard to be creative when your head is full of requirements like minimum product runs, temperature, cost- efficient packaging, the cost of cleaning pipes or approving new ingredients. As well, reports abound with statistics about the most effective front-pack claims and no-go ingredients. All of these realities will affect your final product, but don’t lose sight of your most basic task – developing products that will delight your consumer.


Help consumers connect to your product by they way it looks, feels, smells, sounds and tastes. Make associations to our common memory of positive experiences – all of which come via the five senses.

A hot summer day with cool watermelon. Feeling the bark of a shade tree while sitting against it. The delight of a carefree afternoon.




Our sourcing team first heard of the tuber that “became” the Hansen sweet potato™ – far from our headquarters. Its pigment content wasn’t impressive. But its color was promising.

Sound is used to orient ourselves and is one of the two senses people value most. What do you want your consumers to hear or to remember during consumption? The ice melting in bubbles or the crunch of the first bite can make the experience much more profound. It can be related to the packaging, the product, and the place of consumption. It is important to know your target and the main consumption moments before working with sound.





Sent is not only used to keep us safe (for ex. spoiled food or smoke) but is a powerful sense emotionally. Science has proven that a single whiff of a scent can trigger memories, which is why the scent you choose for your product is so important. The last thing you want is to use a scent that evokes sad or fearful memories. To avoid running into this issue, stick to scents that are related to the nature of your product. For example, use an earthy scent on products made with spices. This scent can give customers a sense of well-being or remind them of enjoying autumn in the countryside.

Why is incorporating touch into your product so important? A study published in the Judgment and Decision-Making journal found that people tend to become emotionally attached to an item after just 30 seconds of holding it in their hands. People who felt this personal attachment were also willing to spend more to keep the item. Consider that when thinking of your packaging or even your product. Textural innovation has been growing in different categories, leveraging the touch experience also in the tongue. Make your product enticing to pick up and hold; it can encourage your customer to buy it. An unexpected or pleasurable touch experience in the mouth can help your customer become attached to the product.





Taste represents the moment of truth for food products. All previous sensory perceptions are in anticipation of this moment. Having the right flavor profile, tp match the entire experience reassures consumers. We’ve experienced an explosion of novel flavors and uncommon combinations in recent years across product categories. This is very interesting, but at the same consumers can be overwhelming with flavor innovations per se. Consider what makes sense for you and for the brand. People are ready to explore your new flavors, but they will believe it more if is connected to experiencing the five senses. Starting your development with flavor can shut possibilities of exploring what the other senses can help you to create.

Red Senses

We created two examples of 5 senses box inspired by our new Red solutions to help understand how to use it.

Pictures of boxes 

Red summer vibes

Refreshing ourselves is something that is hard to describe. Having a fresh drink after a walk can lift you up and change your mood. For this new concept we propose a light combination of hibiscus and ancho sparking ice tea that triggers beach memories. “I wonder where this ancho comes from, I’ll have a look later.” Holding the bottle in your hands makes you think about send waves and when opening it the smell of the red sea invites you for a drink. Tasting it brings you back to nature even if you are in a small work break.


The guilty fall

Having ice cream when it’s cold needs to be something worth it. Really. Imagine a dark chocolate and spicy fruit explosion in my mouth. The velvet touch in the tongue after the first bite. You never taste something like this, soft and cold, but with a spicy twist at the same time.


Jane Olsen Ballester

Business Development Manager
Regional Sales, France- Natural Colors Division