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R&D Behind the Scenes – Tasha

Posted on May 9, 2017

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Meet Tasha. She’s our Sensory Assistant at Daiya and is the first person who reviews feedback from customers when you give us a shout on social, call or send us an email. Since she learns so much from you, we thought you’d enjoy learning a little about her.


What is it that you do?

A lot of my time is spent running taste tests at Daiya HQ here in Vancouver. We are constantly validating new ingredients and recipes or determining preference and liking for current and new products. The results from these tests give the R&D team direction and guidance to ensure we’re putting out the best tasting, dairy-free food for you and your family to enjoy. We typically start with in-house testing with Daiya employees before reaching out to Daiya customers and other dairy-free consumers to gather feedback. I work closely with the Consumer Relations Team to track and recruit Daiya customers who have written or called us in with feedback in the past.


What is Sensory Testing?

In simple terms, sensory testing is the use of human senses (sight, smell, taste, touch and hearing) to evaluate consumer products and provide feedback. From the results collected, we are able to make insights and provide guidance about the product being tested. There are many different methods of sensory testing that we use at Daiya for different purposes and objectives. One of these methods is consumer testing, where we collect critical information from our customers and dairy-free consumers to measure liking and acceptability of a product.


How can I test new products or recipes for Daiya?

We’re always looking for new participants, so just email or call 1-877-324-9211 to share your experience and feedback about our products – good or bad. That way, we have your contact details and can keep track of the products you’re familiar with. Then, if we have a home use test with a product you’ve previously given feedback on, we may reach out to see if you are interested or have the time to participate.


What kind of feedback should I give?

When you call or email us describing what you specifically like or dislike in our products, our R&D team can focus more in-depth on those areas. For example, we love hearing that you love the thick, creamy and rich texture of our yogurt. We also appreciate feedback for things to improve on. For instance, some people said our slices had a chalky texture when they’re cold. In response, we have worked hard to improve the performance of our slices at colder temperatures by reformulating and conducting rigorous sensory and consumer testing. When consumers can provide us with in-depth or descriptive feedback, we can interpret the information and relay it to the R&D team. The most useful feedback takes into consideration both taste (sweet, sour, tangy, beany) and texture (thick, smooth, creamy, gritty).


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