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Consumers Care About Calories

July 27, 2017 | Posted by: CTI

When it comes to making healthy choices, consumers have more information than ever before with nutrition facts being added to menus across North America. For many the facts have been eye-opening, especially when comparing a light salad with a hearty burger! The results are not always what consumers had assumed. With this new information, are […]

Seasonal Menus Drive Consumers In-Store

June 28, 2017 | Posted by: CTI

Many consumers mark the change in temperature or the arrival of national holidays by the return of their favorite seasonal menu item. From specialty lattes to unique burger toppings to festive donuts, nearly all restaurant chains are offering these limited-time menu options and with good reason, nearly all consumers are buying them! While seasonal menu […]

Consumers are Looking for All-Day Breakfast Options

May 24, 2017 | Posted by: CTI

All-day breakfast was previously viewed as a weekend luxury but thanks to consumer demand, it has become a staple at a number of restaurant chains across North America. The increase in demand can be linked to longer commutes, flexible work days and the growing trend of eating a second, later breakfast. While breakfast foods are […]

Casual Sit-Down Restaurants Top Pick for Consumers

April 11, 2017 | Posted by: CTI

APRIL 2017 In our fast paced life, convenience is key in all aspects of life, especially when it comes to dining outside of the home. Gone are the days of formal restaurant meals, they have been replaced with a range of casual restaurant options that provide meals at the right speed and the right price. […]

Show your love this Valentine’s Day

February 13, 2017 | Posted by: CTI

FEBRUARY 2017 Love is in the air, along with chocolates, flowers and grand romantic gestures. February days can be long and dark so why not embrace Valentine’s Day by enjoying sweets with your sweetie! We have all heard about the traditional Valentine’s Day gifts but how many people really expect gifts on February 14? What […]


December 20, 2016 | Posted by: CTI

DECEMBER 2016 With the holiday season upon us, many Canadians have been spending time in the kitchen, baking sweet treats for family and friends. While homemade cookies, tarts and bars have always been a popular gift, ever wonder if people actually enjoy receiving baked goods as holiday gifts? What about following recipes? Do Canadians tend […]


November 23, 2016 | Posted by: CTI

NOVEMBER 2016 November is the start of the holiday season and for many, that means the return of their favourite festive dishes. Ever wonder if pecan or pumpkin pie is more popular? Do people actually like stuffing? Contract Testing recently conducted an extensive survey on consumer holiday food preferences with over 1,000 participants from across […]

Ghosts, goblins and gallons of candy… time to celebrate Halloween!

October 27, 2016 | Posted by: CTI

NEW SURVEY REVEALS HOW CANADIANS TRICK OR TREAT OCTOBER 2016 Halloween is the sweetest and spookiest day of the year for many Canadians. Children dress up as their favourite characters and trick or treat for sweet treats. But who says Halloween is just for kids? Contract Testing recently conducted an extensive survey on Halloween candy […]


September 26, 2016 | Posted by: CTI

NEW SURVEY FINDS THAT CONSUMERS CHOOSE WHOLE GRAINS FOR HEALTH SEPTEMBER 2016 September is Whole Grains Month and it is a great time to examine why so many consumers are choosing whole grains products on a regular basis. Contract Testing recently conducted an extensive survey on consumer whole grains practices and preferences with over 1000 […]

Celebrate National Sandwich Month!

August 18, 2016 | Posted by: CTI

NEW SURVEY REVEALS THE SANDWICH FIXIN’S CANADIANS LOVE AUGUST 2016 August is National Sandwich Month so what better reason to eat this delicious and convenient meal! The best part about sandwiches is that they can be catered to tease any tastebud, from gluten free to vegetarian! Contract Testing recently conducted an extensive survey on consumer […]

Case Study: Sunny Days Call For Lemonade

July 21, 2016 | Posted by: CTI

Crisp and sweet – lemonade is an iconic summer drink enjoyed by many. The sunny yellow colour of lemonade is linked to carefree summer days, lemonade stands and an authentic lemon taste. These days lemonade is most often purchased in grocery stores and consumers are looking for the perfect balance of sweetness, tartness and lemon […]

We All Scream For Ice Cream!

July 18, 2016 | Posted by: CTI

NEW SURVEY FINDS THAT CONSUMERS LOVE TO COOL DOWN WITH ICE CREAM JULY 2015 July is National ice cream month and what better way to cool down than a deliciously cool ice cream treat. Ever wonder what the most popular flavour of ice cream is? Classic vanilla or minty chocolate? Where does frozen yogurt fall […]


June 24, 2016 | Posted by: CTI

JUNE 2016 June is National Candy month and what better way to celebrate than satisfying your sweet tooth with your favourite treat. Do you reach for chocolate or chewy sweet candy? How many times a week do you get a candy fix? Wonder how you compare to other Canadians? Contract Testing recently conducted an extensive […]

Traditional Burgers Are King of the Grill!

May 27, 2016 | Posted by: CTI

NEW SURVEY FINDS CONSUMERS LIKE TO STICK WITH CLASSICS WHEN IT COMES TO GRILLING MAY 2015 May is National BBQ month and what better way to celebrate than firing up the grill. Nothing beats the taste of a meal cooked outdoors, especially when it is enjoyed al fresco. Ever wonder if the burger or the […]

Case Study: An Apple a Day Packs a Healthy Punch

January 20, 2016 | Posted by: CTI

Crisp, refreshing, sweet, and healthy – apple juice has a highly palatable flavour profile for young children and adults alike. It is a formidable competitor in the fruit juice category, whether fresh pressed, from concentrate, out of a box or out of a bottle, with breakfast or as a mid- day refresher, apple juice is […]

Contract Testing Opens New Sensory Testing Facility in Grand Rapids

October 27, 2015 | Posted by: CTI

Brampton, ON October 11, 2015 Contract Testing Inc. (CTI), North America’s leading product research and sensory testing company, announced the opening of a new location in Grand Rapids, Michigan today. Operating in Grand Rapids since 2003, CTI continues to grow its database of consumer testing participants, leveraging the diverse population. This allows CTI to tailor […]

Breakfast: The Most Important Meal of the Day

October 5, 2015 | Posted by: CTI

Experts say that breakfast is the most important meal of the day as it provides your body with the much needed energy it requires to tackle the day. This is especially important for kids as studies indicate that breakfast may enhance attention, speed of retaining information, creativity, learning and memory. Given that September is National […]

The Sensory Characteristics of Rum

September 21, 2015 | Posted by: CTI

Produced across the Caribbean and Latin America, rum is a versatile spirit distilled from sugarcane or molasses. There are many variations of rum in the world. The location where the rum was produced is the basic influence of rum taste.  Let’s look at some of the sensory characteristics of rum and what sets them apart […]

The Sensory Side of Hot Dogs

September 13, 2015 | Posted by: CTI

Once again, it is time for football! There will be many tailgate parties and backyard grilling going on for the upcoming season. Hot dogs will be one of the most popular choices on the grill. Let’s discuss just a few. When asked if hot dogs are healthy or unhealthy, most testers feel that they are unhealthy. […]

Sensory Focus: Popular Crackers

August 28, 2015 | Posted by: CTI

The sensory characteristics of crackers are many and profound. A cracker is a baked good characteristically made from flour. Flavorings or seasonings, such as salt, herbs, seeds, and/or cheese, may be added to the dough or sprinkled on top before baking. Crackers are known for their distinct characteristics – usually thin, crispy, dry, savory or […]

The Sensory Side of Canned Chicken Noodle Soup

August 21, 2015 | Posted by: CTI

Millions of people consume canned soup every day. When sensory testing popular brands of chicken noodle soups in cans and boxes we discovered a few commonalities. Certain popular soup brands are easily recognizable by consumers, and a blind taste test reveals that the marketplace is open if a company can nail down the sensory characteristics […]

Case Study: For The Love of Chocolate

August 7, 2015 | Posted by: CTI

Download our latest case study now! Nowadays, you can find chocolate in any form and mixed with the most unthinkable flavour partners – sweet and savoury, intensely spicy, fruit and nutty, and organic – are just some of the consumer trends that are currently driving innovation and sales in the multi-billion-dollar confectionery market.   CLICK […]

The Sensory Side of Ice Cream

July 27, 2015 | Posted by: CTI

The sensory characteristics related to ice cream are unique and powerful in a billion dollar marketplace. What are some of the sensory characteristics of ice cream? Some of the flavor attributes include overall dairy, dairy fat, dairy cooked, eggy, fruity ripe, floral, green unripe, vanilla, alcohol like, chocolate, cocoa, nutty, caramelized, toasted, dark roast, fresh, […]

Which Bottled Water Is Preferred In The World?

July 20, 2015 | Posted by: CTI

It’s no surprise that bottled waters have different flavors. There certainly is a preference in the marketplace. Sensory product testing once again plays an important role in understanding what consumers prefer when it comes to bottled water. The nuances of taste with water are not as pronounced as with other products. Although subtle, flavor varieties […]

Which type of bread is the crowd favorite?

July 14, 2015 | Posted by: CTI

Sensory product testing is a powerful tool with a wide range of applications in the bakery industry. You really see this come to light with bread. There are many options to choose from; what do consumers prefer? In a very large testing group, 62% prefer whole-wheat bread to all others. White bread is next at […]

These are a Few of our Favourite Fruits

June 18, 2015 | Posted by: CTI

Take a trip to the local market this summer and you’ll find an abundance of colourful fruits and vegetables. With June being National Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Month, we thought it would be fitting to explore fruit preferences with our sensory product testing team when it comes to berries, tropical fruits, citrus fruits and of […]

The Rise of the Gourmet Hamburger

| Posted by: CTI

Over the top burgers, special sauces and customized creations -the surge of gourmet burger chains continues to grow with new establishments popping up all over North America. Do you believe that the topping makes the burger? Last year, we asked the Contract Testing community about their sensory product testing burger topping preferences and our survey […]

Which Pizza Topping Is King?

June 5, 2015 | Posted by: CTI

Pizza is one of the most beloved meals around the world. In fact, pizzerias comprise almost eight percent of all United States restaurants. Manufacturers’ sales of pizza has reached almost $40 billion each year. Americans eat about 100 acres of pizza each day, or about a staggering 350 slices per second! For a certainty, there […]

Understanding the Basic Flavors of Wine

June 1, 2015 | Posted by: CTI

Before you can start sensory testing which flavor of wine is the most popular, you have to know a little bit about the basic flavors of wine. Wine gurus typically know these things like the back of their hand. A typical test of wine flavor usually involves certain basic characteristics of flavor. The five basic […]

Sights, Scents and Tastes Come Together at Easter

April 4, 2015 | Posted by: CTI

Easter is a national holiday and a special time for Christian families around the world. It’s a colourful, flavourful holiday full of egg hunts, chocolate bunnies and delicious feasts. While traditions of Easter are celebrated in many different ways around the world, the historic reasons we recognize the holiday remains the same across the board. […]

Making Use of Existing Knowledge

April 1, 2015 | Posted by: CTI

“Knowledge is power.” – Francis Bacon. This is what sensory analysis is all about. Regardless of the product, understanding what people really think about your products is invaluable. For example let’s discuss potato chips. You’ll find potato chips in virtually every place where food is sold. Let’s say you’re trying to determine which potato chips […]

Eating Healthy In The New Year?

March 30, 2015 | Posted by: CTI

The value of sensory analysis really comes to the forefront when it comes to healthy eating. Now that the New Year’s resolutions are passed and we are a few months into the New Year, let’s consider one of the most popular health food products out there, kale. The number of Americans consuming kale is six […]

St. Patrick’s Day

March 13, 2015 | Posted by: CTI

Every year, on March 17th, folks gather in green to drink pints of green beer in celebration of St. Patrick. We wondered: Why green beer? And who is St. Patrick? What are some typical St. Patrick’s Day food traditions? St. Patrick’s Day is thought to be more popular in North America than in the country […]

Sensory Analysis: What is Flavor?

March 10, 2015 | Posted by: CTI

Flavor! There are many definitions for flavor, but all of them contain a combination of taste and odor influenced by sensations of pain, heat, cold and other tactile sensations. Most people have taste buds. Flavor has a major role in determining the acceptability of foods and beverages. It is a dynamic sense that changes in […]

Diving into Flavoured Sparkling Water

March 6, 2015 | Posted by: CTI

As consumers seek out healthier beverage alternatives to soft drinks, they are finding increasingly more options in bottled water including new flavours and new fashionable or ‘greener’ packaging innovations. One exploding segment of the category we recently explored is flavoured sparkling water. The objective of our latest research was to investigate the sensory performance of […]

Sensory Analysis: Myths In the Marketplace

February 27, 2015 | Posted by: CTI

Contrary to popular thinking, there is a lot more to sensory analysis than just science. Even though sensory evaluation is a scientific discipline that analyzes and measures human responses to the composition of food and beverages, there are many factors involved in measuring consumer responses. Sensory evaluation can be used to compare similarities or differences […]

Why Use Sensory Analysis?

February 20, 2015 | Posted by: CTI

The short answer? Sensory analysis answers very important questions about your products that translate directly to revenue and customer satisfaction. Sensory analysis isn’t based on guesswork. It’s a scientific method designed to take the guesswork out of developing products for consumers. Thinking something to be true and knowing it to be true are two totally […]

Sweethearts – America’s Favourite Valentine’s Day Candy

February 13, 2015 | Posted by: CTI

The Origin of Sweethearts While February may be one of the shortest and dreariest months, the upside is that it is also the month to celebrate Valentine’s Day. From young to young at heart, Valentine’s Day provides an excuse to indulge in all those sweet treats associated with love: cinnamon hearts, a box of chocolates, […]

Strawberry Banana Smoothies

February 2, 2015 | Posted by: CTI

Powered by the escalating demand for healthy, on-the-go meal solutions, the smoothie category is a very active one. For some, it is the perfect way to get a daily dose of the latest and greatest ‘superfood’, while to others it’s a fast and easy breakfast or lunch solution. Contract Testing recently brought together 50 women […]


January 28, 2015 | Posted by: CTI

NEW SURVEY FINDS CONSUMERS LIKE TO EXPERIMENT WITH FLAVORS AND TEXTURES WHEN IT COMES TO CHEESE PREFERENCES JANUARY 2015 Last week, The Smithsonian celebrated National Cheese Day with a map of cheeses from around the world. The author of the article asks, how can so many varieties of cheese stem from such a simple set […]

Boxing Day: A Great Day to Use Up Your Leftover Turkey!

December 26, 2014 | Posted by: CTI

How do you celebrate Boxing Day: Shopping, eating or both? A secular holiday, Boxing Day happens each year on December 26 – the day after Christmas Day. The name “Boxing Day” originates from a time when tradespeople and servants would receive “Christmas Boxes” from their employers as a holiday gift. Boxing Day is also known […]

The Flavour of the Holiday Season

December 24, 2014 | Posted by: CTI

Each year, as the days become shorter and winter settles in, many of us turn to our kitchens for solace and sanity. And with that, there is no other time of the year where a home’s kitchen is a more celebrated hub than during the holidays. Whether you celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa or even Festivus, […]

How do you like your peanut butter?

December 22, 2014 | Posted by: CTI

Peanut butter. A nutritious, filling and versatile food that is loved by so many – young and young at heart. Whether slathered on a piece of toast for a quick and nutritious breakfast solution, or finely spread on a cracker for a midnight snack, peanut butter continues to be one of our favorite go-to foods. […]

Quick Service Restaurants (QSR) Impact the World!

December 12, 2014 | Posted by: CTI

What is a Quick Service Restaurant? A quick service restaurant (QSR) is a specific type of restaurant characterized both by cuisine and table seating. Food served in these restaurants characteristically caters to a “meat-sweet diet” and is offered from a limited menu, cooked in bulk in advance and kept hot, finished and packaged to order, […]

What Is The Most Popular Cake Flavor?

November 26, 2014 | Posted by: CTI

Wednesday, November 26 is National Cake Day. Which begs the question, what is the most popular cake flavor in North America and why? The Reigning King of Cake Flavors With so many different levels of richness and options for flavor pairings, chocolate remains the most popular cake flavor. This childhood favorite has the flexibility to be […]

Consumers Provide Top Five Perfect Pairings

November 25, 2014 | Posted by: CTI

Peanut butter and jelly, pork and beans, chicken and dumplings, spaghetti and meatballs…Contract Testing recently asked consumers (from both the United States and Canada) to tell us more about their ‘perfect pairings’ when it comes to the food and drink they enjoy. According to the survey, their perfect pairings include: Peanut butter with jam Consumers […]

Contract Testing’s Annual Halloween Survey!

October 29, 2014 | Posted by: CTI

Halloween spending is set to BOOm this year. The Financial Post (Canada) recently reported that Canadians are now outspending Americans on Halloween to the tune of $1-billion in 2014. With the second most popular holiday approaching, more than 3,000 testers participated in a consumer survey about Halloween to get more insight into this very spooooooky […]

CTI Breakfast Survey 2014

September 17, 2014 | Posted by: CTI

Experts say that breakfast is the most important part of the day; many parents would report that it’s also the busiest. To mark National Breakfast Month, and the back to school season, Contract Testing surveyed parents to find out more about their breakfast routines – and about kids preferences when it comes to the food […]

Nutritional Beverages: Exploring the differences in taste and textural profiles among seniors

September 9, 2014 | Posted by: CTI

The market for products geared towards improving the health and well-being of our aging population continues to grow. The challenges of maintaining our health and nutrition increase as consumers get older – and for some, single-serve nutritional drinks or ‘shakes’ are a practical option – either for maintaining weight or getting the nutritional elements they […]

The Ham and Cheese Sandwich Ranks Among the Most Popular of Sandwich Options: This and more sandwich preferences from Contract Testing’s most recent consumer survey.

August 25, 2014 | Posted by: CTI

We all have a favourite sandwich. For Ross Geller on Friends, it was a turkey sandwich with a “moist maker” – an extra slice of gravy soaked bread in the centre. And in Seinfeld, Kramer’s character just could not eat a sandwich without Dijon mustard. Contract Testing’s most recent consumer survey looked at sandwich preferences: […]

National Hot Dog Day – July 23rd

July 23, 2014 | Posted by: CTI

July 23rd is National Hot Dog Day and to celebrate, Contract Testing reveals consumer preferences when it comes to one of North America’s most popular foods – the hot dog. The top dog: the majority of respondents reported their preference for an all beef hot dog (62 per cent) with “the works” (ketchup, relish, mustard […]

There are three main reasons why moms purchase drinkable yogurts for their kids.

July 18, 2014 | Posted by: CTI

Can you guess what these are? Read Contract Testing’s most recent study to find out. With the unpredictable eating habits of children a challenge for many parents, drinkable yogurt is one fridge staple that seems to be consistently kid-approved. One of the forces behind the growth of the yogurt category over the past decade is […]

Football Fever Fills Canadian Bellies with Chicken Wings and Nachos

July 11, 2014 | Posted by: CTI

World Cup fever is still going strong! But as we come to the close of this momentous event that has captured the hearts of viewers worldwide, Contract Testing decided to find out what Canadian consumers have been feasting on while they watch the games at pubs across the country. With all their many varieties from […]

In search of the perfect Chicken Nugget?

June 23, 2014 | Posted by: CTI

The Chicken Nugget was invented in the 1950’s and made its debut on the McDonald’s menu board in the early 80’s. Fast-forward to 2014 and the Chicken Nugget is one of the most popular items in the freezers of the on-the-go family. And nowadays, there is a wide variety of brand choice – some differentiated […]

Whether chewy, crunchy, extra-chocolaty, or simply decadent – chocolate chip cookies continue to be king of the cookie aisle.

May 26, 2014 | Posted by: CTI

But with so many interpretations of our classic favorite on the shelf, we wondered, are they all equally good and what aspects of the chocolate chip cookie stand out as the most important? Our latest research explores whether there are perceivable differences between packaged on-the-shelf chocolate chip cookies. Overall, our results suggest that it’s mainly […]

Barbecue season is finally upon us and nothing says summer and BBQ season like a delicious, juicy hamburger.

May 14, 2014 | Posted by: CTI

In honour of National Hamburger Week (the second week in May), Contract Testing conducted an online survey (1,326 respondents) to understand consumer preferences around…what else? Hamburgers! To ring in the summer season, we wanted to know your favourite type of burger as well as accoutrements such as condiments and sides. Beef or Bust The traditional […]

Sweet & Savory Indulgences

April 30, 2014 | Posted by: CTI

Do you crave the rich taste of chocolate or the tartness of a strawberry rhubarb pie? Or is your preference for salt – chips, pretzels or popcorn? Contract Testing recently conducted an internet survey to understand consumer preferences when it comes to sweet and savory indulgences. The results are in and here’s what you had […]

What do Millennials like to Eat and Drink?

March 25, 2014 | Posted by: CTI

They’re turning to Taco Bell, Chipotle and Panera over other fast food venues, have a preference for craft beer and love their wine… This and more in a fascinating read in Bon Appetit.

Have you ever wondered if customers respond more favourably to green products on St. Patty’s Day?

March 17, 2014 | Posted by: CTI

According to a recent consumer survey conducted by Contract Testing Inc, it turns out nearly 50 per cent of consumers enjoy food and drink more when it’s dyed green for St. Patty’s Day. Just 7 per cent said it would turn them off completely and 44 percent saying the colour of food has “no impact” […]

And the survey says….

March 14, 2014 | Posted by: CTI

Sour Cream and Onion Potato Chips come out on top (22 per cent) of a recent North American consumer survey conducted by Contract Testing Inc. This was followed by Regular (20 per cent), BBQ (18 per cent) and All-Dressed (14 per cent). Do you agree with the survey findings? Let us know! Connect with us […]

Cod, Haddock, Tilapila – Could You Tell the Difference?

February 11, 2014 | Posted by: CTI

Do you think you could tell the difference between these three white fish in a blind taste test? While market prices are a key factor, and popularity, awareness, and environmental sustainability may drive sales, what about taste preferences? Through our in-house, in-depth research we explore potential perceivable differences between popular white fish species. Get the […]

Contract Testing Inc. announces new Atlanta Test Site

June 18, 2012 | Posted by: CTI

Atlanta, GA June 15, 2012 – Contract Testing Inc. (CTI) is pleased to announce the grand opening of its new sensory and consumer product research test site in Atlanta, GA. The new location is in response to the growing number of companies relocating to the southeast, drawn by tax breaks and ready access to transit systems and ports. […]

Contract Testing Inc. announces new Montreal Test Site

April 6, 2010 | Posted by: CTI

Montreal, Quebec, April 6, 2010 – In conjunction with its 25th Anniversary Contract Testing Inc. is pleased to announce the grand opening of its new sensory testing and consumer product research facility in Longueil, Quebec.  The facility provides CTI’s new and existing clients with improved access to the significant French Canadian market.  CTI continues to be the only […]

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