Cambridge Consultants paves the way to advanced consumer feedback

Product design and development firm Cambridge Consultants believes that now is the right time for emerging technologies to be harnessed to gather consumer insight. This approach is set to disrupt the multi-billion dollar market research sector, allowing new ways to gather insight and helping to improve products and services in the future.

Understanding consumer needs is a fundamental element of consumer technology development. However, traditional methods of gathering consumer insights are not perfect – the very action of gathering these insights through surveys or interviews can actually change consumers’ responses and behaviours. Additionally, gathering large amounts of information over long periods of time is often impractical, due to the cost and complexity of such large trials.

Sensing, connectivity, algorithm and machine learning technologies are becoming ubiquitous and now is the perfect time to leverage them for the specific purpose of gaining consumer insight – in concept testing and also after product launch. The key benefit of technology-based data gathering is that it is scalable in a way that traditional survey techniques are not.

To demonstrate the potential of these techniques, Cambridge Consultants has added machine vision technology to its Vinfusion wine blending system. The system blends a unique wine based on an individual’s taste preferences, which are then entered into a connected mobile app. Using image recognition technology, the system can assess whether the individual enjoyed the wine, by analysing their facial reaction immediately after tasting.

This visual recognition technology can also determine gender and age, allowing for trends and patterns to be established across genders and age groups. For example, a trial of Vinfusion with this insight technology established that males appear to prefer fuller bodied and “fiery” wines, while females tend to prefer lighter and softer wines. There was also a general trend amongst older consumers to prefer drier wines. These insights were uncovered without the need for human observation of the consumers in the trial, or to find the information from interviews or questionnaires.

For market research companies as well as consumer brands, once this type of technology is deployed, the insight comes for free, and because it is not intrusive, provides the opportunity for better quality results. When combined with data from diverse sources, it can produce sophisticated intelligence to establish trends in consumer preferences. For example, it can be used to link purchases to wider influencing factors, such as weather patterns and seasons.  

“One of the challenges of developing consumer products is anticipating the needs of the customer, both in trying to predict who that customer is, and making assumptions about what they like,” said Edward Brunner, Head of Asia Consumer Business, “Securing the right insights is crucial to commercial success and this technology approach will be a significant part of the industry in the near future. Now is the right time for companies to be engaging with this tech-led approach in order to stay ahead of their competitors.”

This approach is another example of how Cambridge Consultants uses science-led innovation to address complex challenges and create unique customer experiences.

Cambridge Consultants is demonstrating this technology at Drinktec 2017 in Munich from September 11th to 15th, along with its smarter recycling concept.

Notes to editors

About Cambridge Consultants
Cambridge Consultants develops breakthrough products, services and intellectual property, and provides business consultancy in technology-critical issues for clients worldwide. For more than 60 years, the company has been helping its clients turn business opportunities into commercial successes, whether they are launching first-to-market products, entering new markets or expanding existing markets through the introduction of new technologies. With a team of more than 800 team members, including engineers, scientists, mathematicians and designers, in offices in Cambridge (UK), Boston (USA), Tokyo (Japan) and Singapore, Cambridge Consultants offers solutions across a diverse range of industries including medical technology, industrial and consumer products, digital health, energy and wireless communications.

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About Capgemini Invent
As the digital innovation, design and transformation brand of the Capgemini Group, Capgemini Invent enables CxOs to envision and shape the future of their businesses. Located in nearly 40 studios and more than 60 offices around the world, it comprises a 10,000+ strong team of strategists, data scientists, product and experience designers, brand experts and technologists who develop new digital services, products, experiences and business models for sustainable growth.

Capgemini Invent is an integral part of Capgemini, a global leader in partnering with companies to transform and manage their business by harnessing the power of technology. The Group is guided everyday by its purpose of unleashing human energy through technology for an inclusive and sustainable future. It is a responsible and diverse organization of over 325,000 team members in more than 50 countries. With its strong 55-year heritage and deep industry expertise, Capgemini is trusted by its clients to address the entire breadth of their business needs, from strategy and design to operations, fueled by the fast evolving and innovative world of cloud, data, AI, connectivity, software, digital engineering and platforms. The Group reported in 2021 global revenues of €18 billion.

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