Sensory Spectrum, a research firm based in New Jersey, will open an office at the North Carolina Research Campus.

Sensory will initially employ 10 people at the campus that is being built by billionaire David Murdock, the owner of Dole Food Co.

The company works with companies and clients to help them better understand how consumers and users react to food, beverages, personal care, household products and other goods.

“This is a big strategic play for us,” Clyde Higgs, vice president of business development for Castle & Cook, told the Kannapolis Independent Tribune. “This will bring an additional support organization to the region. That’s the goal: To show the bigger companies they can come here and have the support they need.”

Castle & Cook, which is also owned by Murdock, is developing the campus.

Sensory Spectrum, launched in 1986, plans to employ between 20 and 35 people in Kannapolis. The staff will include sensory scientists, psychologists, technicians and administrative staff.

The firm already has a working relationship with the UNC Nutrition Research Institute, which will be based in Kannapolis.

“We are excited to have the opportunity to be part of a think tank and embrace the exposure and chance to work with world class scientists conducting basic research dedicated to promoting health and nutrition,” said Judy Heylmun, vice president for strategic business development at Sensory Spectrum.

The landing of the private-sector company is the second major recruiting coup for the campus in recent months. Pharmaceutical Product Development, which is based in Wilmington, also plans to open an operation in Kannapolis.

Sensory Spectrum clients include Nestle and Coca-Cola.

The Kannapolis office will open in January.

North Carolina State, UNC-Chapel Hill, Duke, UNC-Charlotte and several other state universities are already committed to having a presence at the Research Campus.