As the digital world is quickly taking over all aspects of people’s lives, we have come to realise that a return to the basics is a well-needed breath of fresh air. It has recently been proven that we have now entered an era where seeing, touching, tasting, smelling and hearing are central elements in the consumer products’ landscape.
As humans, our only chance of making sense of life is by socially interacting with others using these primary senses. Sending and receiving information has made it possible for us to shape our perspective and form the reality, which has turned life into a never-ending cycle of sensory experiences that define our existence. But to what extent is that relevant when choosing beverages based on their colours?
The Silk Road of taste buds
In the past, the act of eating was solely associated with sustenance, whereas nowadays it is more inclined towards multi-sensory experiences that aim to heighten the effects of dining through the amplification of various senses.
‘Le Petit Chef’ is bringing new dining experiences to the Londoners’ menu by taking them on a journey along the Silk Road of Marseilles to Arabia, India and, eventually, China. The foods are accompanied by a personalised 3D animated performance of a miniature chef that prepares delicious meals, while whispering in French, as well as the sound of different birds, boats and fire-breathing dragons that fly over their platters.‘Le Petit Chef’ dining experience in London
The cutting-edge six-course feast is carefully paired with wine along with soundtracks and scents aimed at immersing the guests in different lands across the Silk Road.
On the same note, people tend to quickly associate food’s colours with certain tastes, textures and smells, which consequently affect emotions. While red and yellow are known for their hunger-provoking attributes, shades of pink can alter the perceived level of sweetness. These premises also explain why adding colour to foods can easily be mistaken for adding sugar. The findings of a German research project pointed out that wine can be perceived as 50% sweeter if drunk under red light, rather than under white or blue lights.
A fine line between taste and fragrance choices
The thought-provoking journey of multi-sensory experiences was continued through the Flipside Exhibitions that took place in May 2018 at the Selfridges Old Hotel in London and invited guests to take a different look at the luxury fashion. While Google Pixel 2, Louis Vuitton and Loewe’s installations made it clear that the future of fashion is green, cocktail bartender Ryan Chetiyawardana, also known as Mr. Lyan offered customised drinks to the attendees based on the displays they were most attracted to. People wrote their preferences on small pieces of paper which were later handed in to the bartender to mix the ingredients.
Mr.Lyan cocktails at The Flipside Exhibition, Old Selfridges Hotel, London
Not only has this given people a valuable insight into their own personalities and taste preferences, but has also made them realise that the cocktails’ ingredients were very similar to the types of fragrances and skincare products they were already using.
Sounds of chocolate
The Choco-Phonica experiment launched by Space Doctors’ in collaboration with culinary creatives Bompas & Parr took place in 2015 at the inauguration of the British Food Museum in Borough Market and aimed to illustrate whether sounds have the power to influence the way we experience flavour.
The data gathered was set to help brands create more meaningful client relationships by understanding whether cultural meanings can impact sensory perception, appetite and the recalling of the chocolate experience. ‘The notion that perception and memory can be influenced by the sounds, which represent cultural associations, is an intriguing one’ said Cato Hunt, Director of Innovation of Space Doctors. It is common knowledge that senses play an imperative role in defining brand perception and ‘Choco-Phonica’ seeks to immerse inter-related fields, such as semiotics, cognitive science and anthropology to explore this hypothesis even further.
Choco-Phonica by the Space Doctors in collaboration with Bomoas & Parr
Exploring the senses used to be about novel experiences, but nowadays we are increasingly seeing multi-sensory design at the heart of innovative solutions across sectors, from healthcare to consumer, FMCG and even fashion. A compelling orchestration of sensory messages is only possible with the help of a talented conductor or, in this case, brands able to translate visions into the highest-quality realities at every touch point.
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