A questionnaire was developed and administered to 30 elderly consumers to explore perceptions about sensory properties of food that relate to food habits and food-related problems. Fifty percent of the survey sample believed that their food habits had changed considerably in the past 10 years, and 47% believed that health problems influenced their food selection. Few reported changes in food preparation because of mastication problems. Approximately half believed that foods smelled and tasted as good to them now as foods did when the consumers were young. Sensory properties of food were significantly (p less than or equal to .05) more important than several other factors in making purchase decisions for food preparation in three specific social contexts.