Individuals in each of the four eating styles – identified in previous research as crunchers, chewers, smooshers and suckers – were found to experience food differently, the report by Ingredion claimed.
Each of the four types of eaters preferred foods with different textures, it found.
Crunchers eat their food forcefully and noisily, and are often fast eaters. Recipes targeted at this group should, in some way, bring some crunch, the report suggested.
Those who prefer to chew
For those who prefer to chew food must not break down in the mouth but deliver a long, full chewing sensation.
Smooshers, meanwhile, process and eat foods slowly. This means food must be smooth and able to be broken down and held in the mouth for a long time, Ingredion claimed.
Suckers focus on extracting all the flavour from a food before it is chewed, as they tend to be slow eaters, it added.
Texture and sensory attributes
Applying these insights means food products can be developed with texture and sensory attributes that improve their appeal, whether it’s creating desired creaminess or smoothness, or optimising the bite of crispy, crunchy foods, said Séverine Bensa, European marketing manager for texture at Ingredion.
“It’s not just about formulation. Our workshops also showed how important it is that any specific texture claims made on the label are delivered in the eating experience.
“We discovered if someone feels what they are eating is consistent with the claim, they will be more likely to stay brand loyal,” she said. “However, we also found the opposite was true.”