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Whether chewy, crunchy, extra-chocolaty, or simply decadent – chocolate chip cookies continue to be king of the cookie aisle.

But with so many interpretations of our classic favorite on the shelf, we wondered, are they all equally good and what aspects of the chocolate chip cookie stand out as the most important? Our latest research explores whether there are perceivable differences between packaged on-the-shelf chocolate chip cookies.

Overall, our results suggest that it’s mainly about the cookie flavour, and in particular the chocolate flavour. Cookies with the highest overall appeal also tended to have a stronger chocolate flavour, and more visible chocolate chips.

Other key positive drivers of liking included overall flavour, richness of flavour, size of the chocolate chips, as well as the pleasantness of the aftertaste. The higher a cookie scored on these attributes, the greater likelihood that it was well liked overall.

And by the same token, negative drivers of liking include the ratio of chocolate chips to cookie, and sweetness – meaning the cookies with the lowest ratios of chocolate chips to cookie and lowest intensity of sweetness, tended to have the poorest results.

Chocolate chip cookies may be an indulgent treat for many – but they are 
a staple purchase for many mothers, and continue to be one of the most kid-endorsed comfort foods on grocery shelves.

A tasty category like cookies provides no exception to the lessons we’ve learned through decades of sensory testing: consumers’ taste buds can be an effective input into your business decisions…and make ‘smart cookies’ out of all of us.

Click here to read the study in its entirety.

For questions about this research, or how you can leverage consumer taste buds in your business, contact Andrew Scholes at andrew.scholes@contracttesting.com.