When something tastes good, it tastes good, right? End of story – or so people thought. In recent years, sensory research has revealed a much more complex reality. Some sensory experts estimate that at least half of our experience with food and drink is determined by all five senses. For example, a dessert served on a white dish will be perceived as 10% sweeter than the same item served on a black dish, according to a study by Piqueras-Fizman, Alcaida, Roura, Spence; Food Quality & Preference, Vol. 24, No. 1, April 2012.
These fascinating findings have real implications for brand managers. The fact that consumer perceptions of taste are determined well before the food or beverage is even sampled creates a host of interesting opportunities, particularly in terms of packaging.