Policy in Plainer English

What Makes a Food Popular?

November 21, 2021 Helen Labun Season 4 Episode 4
Policy in Plainer English
What Makes a Food Popular?
Show Notes

Sensory professional Roy Desrochers explains how food producers can use flavor profiling methods to understand why consumers respond the way they do to products and how to make their food more appealing. Roy has had a long career in food, flavor, and smell  – he is currently running a grass fed milk project with University of Vermont Extension. We also get a few truffle reminders from last episode’s guest, Rowan Jacobsen. If you haven’t heard that episode yet, it’s best to start there


This episode mentions the spaghetti sauce TED Talk by Malcolm Gladwell (about Howard Moskowitz), which is found here


One thing listeners may note about this conversation is that we’re highlighting principles used to increase consumption of items where there’s a health-based reason to eat more of them. For other food products, the goal is to eat less. This earlier update post provides examples of conversations about that issue.

If you want a few more podcast episodes about sensory analysis and the food business:

  • Plant- and Fungus-Based Meats - Gastropod, includes details on attempting to make non-animal "meats" that taste like their animal-based equivalents.  
  • Mission Impastable - The Sporkful, a quest for the perfect pasta shape, in which the host offers his own "flavor leader" criteria. This series appears again later in our podcast season as part of the episode "A Pause to Think Bigger"

Full season archive here. This podcast is part of the Food Access in Health Care program at Bi-State Primary Care Association.  

This season of Policy in Plainer English is supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) as part of an award totaling $189,892.00 with 0 percentage financed with non governmental sources. The contents are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the official views of, nor an endorsement, by HRSA, HHS or the U.S. Government.