Who is Research Vibe?

Research Vibe leads market research and sensory science teams to deliver inspired solutions that help consumer product manufacturers transform consumer insights into innovative product design.
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Darla Hall, co-founder Research Vibe LLC, is one of ten technical presenters invited to share recent research discoveries at the upcoming Society of Sensory Professionals conference in Jersey City, NJ. Hall’s research, conducted in collaboration with Maryann Baldwin, a VP at Frank N. Magid Associates Inc., explores “Using Visual Social Media to Fuel Product Innovation”. Specifically, the research focuses on harnessing the Pinterest Factor for Qualitative Research. Pinterest, one of the fastest growing image-driven social networks, offers a rich environment for […]

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As a food scientist who helps companies create innovative new products and someone who is just plain passionate about food, it is not surprising that I have created a family of foodies! I love to cook and they love to eat and critique my epicurean creations. We have fun with food; we like to try new ingredients, experiment with combinations of flavors and textures, and experience the sensory delights of a new recipe or menu. Mostly, we enjoy time to connect, have fun, and fellowship together over a great meal……. So, it was not a surprise to my family when I suggested a weekend road trip to Chattanooga and Atlanta to check out some of the restaurants featured on my favorite shows and websites.

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What is the primary goal of every major Consumer Packaged Goods Company (CPG)? To “out-innovate the competition”. Most people equate this lofty goal to revenue, profits and the on-going business success of the company in a highly competitive market place. What successful innovation is really meant to do is create Share Holder Value by driving up the company’s stock price on Wall Street. Don’t get me wrong, a company must meet their financial goals to please Wall Street, but, many times, this is not accomplished through innovation. Ways such as cost reductions, restructuring, operations controls and other means are used to meet these needed financials. To me, INNOVATION has always been a dichotomy: innovate to please the consumer by driving repeat sales and creating a permanent place on the shelf, when the real goal is to increase the Share Price of the Company.

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Recently, at the Fall ASTM meeting of E18 Committee for Sensory Evaluation in Tampa, FL there were several discussions among sensory practitioners about concern for the use of both Sensory and Consumer Research as separate terms to describe our scientific discipline. On one hand, sensory science has always incorporated both analytical and consumer methods, so when did we begin to feel the need to clarify that our discipline includes a focus on consumer research? On the other hand, there are those outside of our discipline, users of sensory information and insights, who do not understand the full range of tools and value that sensory science is capable of bringing to the table. So how do we best communicate and market our discipline to allow it to serve its highest purpose?

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