What we hear before and/or while we eat and drink often affects our tasting experiences. The focus of Auditory Contributions to Food Perception and Consume Behaviour is to provide a state-of-the-art summary on how such music and ambient inputs can influence our expectations, our purchasing behaviour, as well as our product experience. Much of the research collected together in this volume relates to ‘sonic seasoning’: This is where music/soundscapes are especially chosen, or else designed/composed, in order to correspond to, and hence hopefully to modify the associated taste/aroma/mouthfeel/flavour in food and beverages. The various chapters collected together in this volume provide a state-of-the-art summary of this intriguing and emerging field of research, as well as highlighting some of the key directions for future research. Contributors are Sue Bastian, Thadeus L. Beekman, Jo Burzynska, Andrew Childress, Ilja Croijmans, Silvana Dakduk , Alexandra Fiegel, Apratim Guha, Ryuta Kawashima, Bruno Mesz, Kosuke Motoki, Rui Nouchi, Felipe Reinoso-Carvalho, Pablo Riera, Marijn Peters Rit, Toshiki Saito, Han-Seok Seo, Mariano Sigman, Laura J. Speed, Charles Spence, Motoaki Sugiura, Marcos Trevisan, Carlos Velasco, Johan Wagemans, and Qian Janice Wang.

Taste liking influences the way in which people match tastes to shapes. However, taste–shape matching cannot be explained entirely by taste hedonics. Here, we assess whether variations in taste intensity influence such crossmodal correspondences. Participants were presented with five basic tastants in two concentrations and had to rate them on roundness/angularity shape scales, as well as in terms of liking, and intensity. The results revealed that taste quality, intensity, and participants’ liking of the taste significantly predicted the roundness/angularity of the tastants. The results also revealed a positive correlation between perceived intensity and roundness/angularity for each of the tastants except sweet, and a negative correlation between liking and roundness/angularity for all of the tastes. These results are discussed in terms of the mechanism(s) that underlie the crossmodal correspondence between taste and shape.

In: Multisensory Research

Abstract

Food product-extrinsic sounds (i.e., those auditory stimuli that are not linked directly to a food or beverage product, or its packaging) have been shown to exert a significant influence over various aspects of food perception and consumer behaviour, often operating outside of conscious awareness. In this review, we summarise the latest evidence concerning the various ways in which what we hear can influence what we taste. According to one line of empirical research, background noise interferes with tasting, due to attentional distraction. A separate body of marketing-relevant research demonstrates that music can be used to bias consumers’ food perception, judgments, and purchasing/consumption behaviour in various ways. Some of these effects appear to be driven by the arousal elicited by loud music as well as the entrainment of people’s behaviour to the musical beat. However, semantic priming effects linked to the type and style of music are also relevant. Another route by which music influences food perception comes from the observation that our liking/preference for the music that we happen to be listening to carries over to influence our hedonic judgments of what we are tasting. A final route by which hearing influences tasting relates to the emerging field of ‘sonic seasoning’. A developing body of research now demonstrates that people often rate tasting experiences differently when listening to soundtracks that have been designed to be (or are chosen because they are) congruent with specific flavour experiences (e.g., when compared to when listening to other soundtracks, or else when tasting in silence). Taken together, such results lead to the growing realization that the crossmodal influences of music and noise on food perception and consumer behaviour may have some important if, as yet, unrecognized implications for public health.

In: Auditory Contributions to Food Perception and Consumer Behaviour

Abstract

Food product-extrinsic sounds (i.e., those auditory stimuli that are not linked directly to a food or beverage product, or its packaging) have been shown to exert a significant influence over various aspects of food perception and consumer behaviour, often operating outside of conscious awareness. In this review, we summarise the latest evidence concerning the various ways in which what we hear can influence what we taste. According to one line of empirical research, background noise interferes with tasting, due to attentional distraction. A separate body of marketing-relevant research demonstrates that music can be used to bias consumers’ food perception, judgments, and purchasing/consumption behaviour in various ways. Some of these effects appear to be driven by the arousal elicited by loud music as well as the entrainment of people’s behaviour to the musical beat. However, semantic priming effects linked to the type and style of music are also relevant. Another route by which music influences food perception comes from the observation that our liking/preference for the music that we happen to be listening to carries over to influence our hedonic judgments of what we are tasting. A final route by which hearing influences tasting relates to the emerging field of ‘sonic seasoning’. A developing body of research now demonstrates that people often rate tasting experiences differently when listening to soundtracks that have been designed to be (or are chosen because they are) congruent with specific flavour experiences (e.g., when compared to when listening to other soundtracks, or else when tasting in silence). Taken together, such results lead to the growing realization that the crossmodal influences of music and noise on food perception and consumer behaviour may have some important if, as yet, unrecognized implications for public health.

In: Multisensory Research