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Drivers of Liking

Ennis, D. M. and Bi, J. (1998). IFPress, 1(1) 2-3.



Assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of your own and your competitors’ brands is an area of mutual concern to product developers and market researchers. In this report we assume that consumers base overall liking and preference decisions on the sensory effects that products have on them and on non sensory variables that the products evoke. Sensory effects may include any or all of the senses - visual, tactile, olfactory, auditory, and gustatory. For example, a consumer’s liking response to a chocolate chip cookie may depend on how smooth it appears, how hard and sweet when tasted, how intense the chocolate flavor and how much noise it makes while eating it. Liking may also depend on non sensory variables such as the perception of the product as good/bad for health, the image projected by being a consumer of this type of product, perceived effects on mood and feelings of satiety. We discuss an approach to this problem that is quite general but apply it to the relationship between overall liking and sensory variables, of the type that would occur in blind product testing.


Figure 1. Relationship between liking and sweetness created by the existence of an ideal point.

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