The thought was that no amount of scientific or technical training equaled that of the actual consumer. At the time, other descriptive analysis methods either relied on technical experts whose judgments were consensus-based, not statistically quantifiable. Thus was the birth of Quantitative Descriptive Analysis (QDA)® and Tragon Corporation.
In the mid-60's Dr. Herbert Stone, a food scientist at Stanford Research Institute (SRI) in Palo Alto, California, began research to address this reliance on the expert. In the early 70's he was joined by Mr. Joel Sidel, a psychologist, and together they researched how consumers described products using a sensory language. Their research methodology focused on the limitations associated with the use of Texture Profile and Flavor Profile methods, the two most commonly used methods of that time.
Their backgrounds were uniquely synergistic for understanding how consumers perceived similarities and differences in food and other consumer products, and the concept of “Getting inside the mind of the consumer®” was born.