The Science Behind Texture Preference
Food science researchers at the Understanding and Insight Group have begun to unravel the mystery of consumer texture preferences. Their fascinating research, published in the Journal of Food Science and Nutrition, lays out a model that categorizes people into four different “mouth behavior groups”: Crunchers, Chewers, Smooshers, and Suckers.1
Crunchers and Chewers
A variety of experiments and survey questions led to the discovery of these different innate texture preferences. Crunchers and Chewers were identified as those who like to use their teeth to break down food. However, they differ in that Crunchers are more forceful and prefer foods that fracture on biting, whereas Chewers prefer foods that don’t fracture but allow them to chew for a while.
Smooshers and Suckers
By contrast, Smooshers and Suckers tend to use the tongue to press food against the roof of the mouth. Smooshers prefer doing this with soft foods, while Suckers like hard foods that last longer in the mouth. These preferences, however, don’t mean people won’t use the other mouth behaviors for certain foods. So while Smooshers might often choose foods that can be smooshed, there may still be certain foods they prefer to crunch.