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Application of check-all-that-apply (CATA) questions in cosmetics

MARÍA E. PARENTE1, ADRIANA GÁMBARO2*, LUCÍA BOINBASER1, ANTONELLA ROASCIO2
*Corresponding author
1. Cosmetic Chemistry Laboratory, Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, School of Chemistry, Universidad de la República, General Flores 2124. C.P. 11800, Montevideo, Uruguay
2. Sensory Evaluation Laboratory, Department of Food Science and Technology, School of Chemistry, Universidad de la República, General Flores 2124. C.P. 11800, Montevideo, Uruguay

Abstract

During the development of cosmetic products it is crucial to know the consumers’ liking for the product, as well as which of its characteristics may influence acceptability. In the past years, quick descriptive methodologies have arose, such as CATA questions, which allow to gather information of consumers’ description of the samples. The CATA question consists of a list of words or phrases (sensory characteristics, hedonic terms, purchase intention, price, quality, emotions, etc.) from which the consumers choose those they consider appropriate for the product being assessed. The CATA questions may be applied to the evaluation of not only cosmetic products, but labels, concepts, ideas or images associated to them. In this paper, the authors present examples about the use of CATA questions in three stages of the development of cosmetic products: generation of the concept-idea that describes the characteristics of the product to be developed; development and evaluation of the prototypes; and conducting a follow up of the product on the market. In each of these stages, the CATA questions may be an useful tool for the decision making process.


INTRODUCTION

The cosmetic products market evolves constantly, with an annual growth rate of 6.3 percent (1).The sales potential of cosmetic and personal care products rests on the sensory characteristics perceived by the consumers and on their efficacy, among others (2). This marketing strategy begins, is sustained by, and ends with the consumer.

During product development it is essential to have information on the sensory attributes that determine whether the consumers likes or dislikes a given product (4).

The usual consumer studies techniques (hedonic scales and purchase intention scales) do not allow for the gathering of information on why consumers prefer one product over another. Traditionally, the attributes responsible for a product’s a