It's the taste that counts

When choosing among similar products, consumers seem to rely more on their personal taste than on brands or quality-seals.



In a pilot consumer poll, researchers from the ASAP (Association for Sensory Analysis and Product Development) in Munich, Germany, asked 153 shoppers: "Nowadays you are offered more and more new food products. When you have a choice of similar products, how can you know you have found the one that tastes best?" There were three food groups in question, fruit yoghurt, sausages, and pre-preparedfoods. Participants could choose among several responses:

  • by trying out the various products until I find the one I like best

  • by carefully studying the list of ingredients

  • by choosing a brand that I already know

  • by selecting a product with a quality-seal

  • by asking friends who have knowledge about the product

  • by buying an organic product

  • by asking one of the store clerks

  • by taking the most expensive product


Most consumers (83%) agreed with "by trying out until I find it", 65% said they would study the list of ingredients. Only 45% declared they would rely on a known brand. Less than 30% indicated they would trust quality seals, organic products or advice from friends.



Sven Henneberg

ASAP GmbH, (now SAM international)

Association for Sensory Analysis and Product Development,

Munich, Germany


Photo: © petra b. -