Imagery on packaging and food labels may affect how consumers perceive and remember the item's flavor, study suggests

LOS ANGELES , November 23, 2011 () – A study of 92 people, which was led by Masako Okamoto from Obihiro University of Agriculture & Veterinary Medicine in Japan, found that imagery on packaging and food labels may affect how consumers perceive and remember the item’s flavor, FoodNavigator.com reported on Nov. 18.

During the study, the participants tasted a 1:1 mixture of 100% pure apple juice and 100% pure peach juice while viewing one of three images: an image of apples, an image of peaches, or a control image.

Late on, the participants tasted a fruit juice mixture consisting of some non 1:1 ratio of 100% pure apple juice and 100% pure peach juice. They were then asked to compare this drink with the original mixture.

Researchers found that participants who had perceived the original drink and the image as being highly similar tended to remember the original drink’s flavor as being more similar to the flavor suggested by the label than it actually was.

Those participants who had perceived the original drink and the image as being highly dissimilar displayed the opposite reaction.

According to Okamoto this suggests that images on packaging and food labels may both shape and play a vital role in how people perceive and remember flavors.

The researchers additionally noted that memories regarding a particular food’s flavor could be just as important as the perception of the actual flavor.

The primary source of this article is FoodNavigator.com, Montpellier, France, on Nov. 18, 2011.


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