2 November 2016
Unravelling the secrets of wine
New blending technology demystifying the wine industry
Personalisation and customisation are two trends that have taken the beverages industry by storm. Product design and development firm Cambridge Consultants has tapped in to these trends – applying its world-class capabilities of consumer insight and science-led innovation to the wine industry.
The company has devised a wine-blending experience, where the consumer can adjust the composition on demand – demystifying the huge and often confusing choice of wine available to consumers.
Wine is as much a science as it is an art, often making wine selection a difficult process. With an overwhelming range of wines to choose from, most people stick to the few they know or simply buy on impulse. The company wanted to make it simpler for consumers to explore new wine and make a more informed choice.
Cambridge Consultants has analysed the chemical make-up of a selection of different wines and looked at what imparted the most distinctive characteristics. This allowed the company to choose a set of four base wines and programme the Vinfusion system to deliver hundreds of different flavours on demand.
The Vinfusion system allows the user to customise their wine using simple terms like full-bodied or light, dry or sweet. The consumer uses a simple app to make their personalised choice and learns a little more about wine along the way. Vinfusion then uses its unique flavour algorithm to blend and dispense the perfect wine.
“Blending wines to achieve a certain flavour or aroma has been around for centuries and this is at the heart of Vinfusion,” said Sajith Wimalaratne, food and beverage commercial manager at Cambridge Consultants. “One of the challenges is understanding the complex relationship between the taste and the proportions of the blended wines. So we surveyed how consumers choose wines and ran taste tests to see how they perceived and described the flavours.”
As the name suggests, Vinfusion is a fusion of chemistry, physics, engineering and user-centred design. It's an example of how the company uses consumer insight to understand a gap in the market – and science-led innovation to address complex challenges and, subsequently, create unique experiences tailored to individual customers.
Cambridge Consultants will be demonstrating its personalised wine technology at BrauBeviale 2016, November 8-10, at the Exhibition Centre, Nuremberg, stand 9-518.
Cambridge Consultants develops breakthrough products, creates and licenses intellectual property, and provides business consultancy in technology-critical issues for clients worldwide. For more than 50 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 700 staff, including engineers, scientists, mathematicians and designers, in offices in Cambridge (UK), Boston (USA) and Singapore, Cambridge Consultants offers solutions across a diverse range of industries including medical technology, industrial and consumer products, digital health, oil and gas, and wireless communications.
Cambridge Consultants is part of Altran, a global leader in engineering and R&D services which offers its clients a new way to innovate. Altran works alongside its clients on every link in the value chain of their project, from conception to industrialisation. In 2015, the Altran group generated revenues of €1.945bn. With a headcount of more than 27,000 employees, Altran is present in more than 20 countries. For more information, visit www.altran.com.
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