Putting everyday shoppers at the heart of innovation

When it comes to choosing a healthcare product from the pharmacy or shop shelf you may be unaware that everyday shoppers are behind the creation and development of the products being purchased.

Insights gathered from consumers can shape everything from the taste, smell, look and feel of the product. At our three state of the art Consumer Healthcare innovation labs we set out to gather these insights, placing consumer research at the heart of our product development and delivering consumer driven products to the shelves faster than ever before.

Research and Development: The beginning of the product life cycle

Research and development is at the heart of all our products. Our  R&D labs come equipped with a unique combination of flexible lab spaces and rapid prototyping capabilities for products and packaging. This allows us to speed up the development of our innovative pipeline into new products that can make a difference to the everyday lives of our consumers.

Products made at these labs range from our Theraflu Warming Caplets to Sensodyne toothpaste.

Consumer Sensory Lab:  Making sure we get it right 

The Consumer Sensory Lab helps us understand how consumers use our products and how the appearance, taste, smell and feel of the product can impact the consumer experience. These insights help us identify what consumers feel is missing from the product and where we can begin to make adjustments. It is here that we can also learn how consumers interact with our products in the home, shop, doctor’s office or pharmacy. Again, this helps us to better understand consumer preferences and ensure our products are best matched to them.

Making consumer driven changes in real time

Next door to our consumer sensory lab is a product design area. Having the two in such close proximity means that scientists can begin to adjust the make-up of products in real time, based on immediate consumer feedback. Changes can be made to the flavour, colour or even texture of the products and then retested on consumers in the same sitting.  

The Shopper Science Lab: Using science to generate world-class consumer insights

Our Shopper Science Labs are state-of-the-art innovation centres where product development meets a retail environment. Inside these labs we have created artificial shopping environments  that help us understand how our customers interact with our products on the shelves and the science behind shopper marketing.

The Shopper Science Lab blends a number of advanced technologies that help provide more immediate consumer insights:

  • Skin biometrics measures changes in the electrical resistance of the skin, known as the galvanic skin response, to understand a shopper’s emotional engagement with a product. This is similar to the technology used in lie detector tests.
  • Facial biometrics uses emotion recognition software which analyses small changes in facial expressions in response to different products.

  • Eye tracking glasses track shopper’s pupils and record where they are looking, marking ‘hotspots’ on a screen. The software is then able to create a heat map of the areas that are most eye-catching, and also those which are being ignored.

  • Industry leading seamless touch-screens provide 3D visualisations of retail environments, known as ‘planograms’. The technology allows us to change the layout or advertising in a virtual reality shop, or the positioning of a product on the shelf. This gives us greater flexibility, control and speed than running tests in a real shop or pharmacy.

Fast-Moving Consumer Healthcare

Together, these labs enable us to discover new shopper insights, instantly develop tailor-made solutions to meet shopper needs and provide us with a competitive advantage that supports our aim of becoming the world’s first and best fast-moving consumer healthcare company, driven by science and values.


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