Tasting quality: The roles of intrinsic and extrinsic cues

Roberta Veale, Pascale Quester

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

44 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose – This paper aims to investigate the respective influences of price and country of origin (COO), as extrinsic cues, on consumer evaluations of product quality when all intrinsic cues are experienced through sensory (taste) perception. Design/methodology/approach – Taste-testing experiments were conducted (n = 263) using Brie cheese as the test product and a 3(COO) × 3(price) × 3 (fat content) conjoint analysis fractional factorial design. Findings – Price was clearly found to be the most important attribute contributing to perception of Brie quality, followed by fat content. COO also exerted a substantial influence on respondents’ evaluation. In the case of this sensory experiment, reliance on the extrinsic cues tested was found to remain extremely robust even when all intrinsic cues (through sensory experience) were available for respondent evaluation when objective product quality was manipulated to three differing levels. Research limitations/implications – The research presents a number of limitations. Convenience sampling was employed, limiting one's ability to generalize results. Further, the use of conjoint analysis for taste-testing experiment methodology is limited, particularly with a sample of this size with objective quality manipulations that are quantified and precise. A laboratory environment is also a limitation. Practical implications – The research demonstrated that, even when evaluating a relatively low involvement product, consumer belief in the price value schema dominates quality assessment. These findings mean that marketers cannot assume that intrinsic product attributes, even when experienced, will be interpreted or used accurately when evaluated by consumers. Hence results provide an illustration to managers of the importance of ensuring that consumers take the intended meaning from communicated intrinsic cues in particular. Originality/value – The research significantly advances understanding of consumers’ use of extrinsic cues (price and COO specifically), and their respective influence in their determination of both expected and experienced quality.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)195-207
Number of pages13
JournalAsia Pacific Journal of Marketing and Logistics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 9 Jan 2009


  • Australia
  • Country of origin
  • Food testing
  • Price positioning
  • Quality


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