The choice of oral nutritional supplements (ONS) is typically made by a formulary committee without patient input. The purpose of this study was to determine if significant differences arose in the following two areas: (1) in preference of ONS between patients and dietitians/dietetic interns; and (2) between ONS from different companies as detected by either patients or dietitian/dietetic interns. ONS in the 1.0 kcal/mL and 1.5 kcal/mL lactose-free category from five companies, in all flavors, were randomly evaluated by 392 patients and 34 dietitians/dietetic interns. Each product was evaluated using a seven-point hedonic scale. When more than one brand of the same flavor was present, products were than ranked in order of preference. There were significant differences between patients and dietitians/dietetic interns in their evaluation of 7 of the 13 product lines. Significant differences were also found between same-flavored products of equal caloric density produced by different companies. Since the patients typically rated the ONS as more acceptable when a difference did exist, it would appear unnecessary for formulary committees to test products on the patient population on a regular basis.