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Health & Wellness focus for new HCD Consumer Research Unit

HCD Research, a marketing and consumer sciences company, has partnered with Martha Bajec, a PhD expert in neuroscience and consumer research, to launch a new consumer research unit focusing on health and wellness consumer products. With HCD’s success in applying a behavioral and consumer neuroscience approach in consumer product and marketing research, they are applying their expertise to helping health and wellness companies navigate the complex world of consumer testing and understanding.

Martha Bajec, PhD

The health and wellness product space, which includes health and well-being related consumer products such as nutritional supplements, cannabinoids, and other plant-based phytocompounds and natural actives, is booming. Products featuring functional ingredients, including phytoceuticals, nutraceuticals, and herbaceuticals (including cannabinoids, like cannabidiol (CBD)), and other natural actives, have become increasingly popular. However, this type of product research requires specialized knowledge and expertise – from making claims to running consumer and sensory testing – the nuances of designing, implementing and analyzing such research can be challenging.

HCD Wellness, in partnership with Dr. Bajec, will provide consumer research in the health and well-being area for claims substantiation, consumer & market research, and sensory & ingredient optimization complementing traditional research tools with psychology and neuroscience. “As more companies enter this space, many have approached us for help with their research,” says HCD’s VP of Research & Innovation Michelle Niedziela, PhD. “We felt it was important to combine our expertise with Dr. Bajec’s expertise to better serve our clients in this space.” With Dr. Bajec’s extensive experience across a broad range of consumable products (including cannabis (all forms), alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, tobacco, electronic cigarettes, and fortified dairy-based beverages) and HCD’s expertise in consumer neuroscience, clients can expect the best possible research.

Consumer demand for health and wellness products, including CBD, is an expanding industry that warrants a closer look. Now is the time for companies to begin R&D into various applications of CBD and other natural actives. HCD Wellness will utilize state-of-the-art technologies and methodologies to help clients better understand the complex relationship between consumers and these products. Consumer research expert, Dr. Bajec adds, “I’m excited to bring my personal passion and CPG-insider perspective to partner with Dr. Niedziela and the HCD team in the mission of delivering clear, actionable results in support of discovery, innovation, and R&D in the all-too-important health and wellness space. HCD’s application of neuroscience research methods to consumer understanding is uniquely well-suited to study the effects and efficaciousness of bioactive and psychoactive ingredients, including cannabinoids like CBD (cannabidiol) and THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), among many others.”

HCD Research is a marketing and consumer sciences company that provides expert recommendations by employing traditional and applied consumer neuroscience to optimize the design of market research projects for our clients. For more information contact Allison Gutkowski (



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