In the framework of DUS testing (distinctness, uniformity and stability) of new varieties of Chicorium intybus L. partim, experts are manually measuring or scoring the shape of the roots. This way of working has several disadvantages in comparison to image analysis techniques. In this study two methods based on image analysis are statistically compared and evaluated: elliptic Fourier descriptors and classical parameters. From the study, we can conclude that the former can be used to analyze and explore the variance available, whereas the latter can be used to improve interpretability and the accessibility of the data. As such, both approaches are complementary. Also new characteristics for DUS testing are suggested.