26 Oct Food for thought!
Last week a video shot at a Food Expo in Netherlands went viral. The video shows two Dutch guys plating up some standard McDonald’s fare, Masterchef style, into bite-sized cubes with toothpicks on them. The food was presented to some European organic food experts, as a new organic alternative to fast food from their high-end fancy restaurant. Although my understanding of Dutch is limited to English-sounding Dutch words, the experts all labeled the food to be ‘freeesh’ and ‘goot’. Google translations and news reports reported the experts pronounced the food to be ‘so fine, it rolls around the tongue nicely – like fine wine’.
Take a look at the video below, and if you find a dubbed version, do send it to us!
Before you discredit European food experts, let’s take a look at some past research in this domain. Over 7 years ago, researchers found that increasing the price of a wine can affect how our brain experiences pleasantness (Plassmann et al, 2007). The fMRI based study revealed that participants reported higher levels of flavor pleasantness when the price of a bottle of wine was increased. This was also supported by increase in blood-oxygen-level-dependent activity in medial orbitofrontal cortex – the part of the brain that translates experienced pleasantness.
A study published in The Journal of Wine Economics (Yes! It exists!), suggested that when hosts disclosed the high price of a wine to women produces considerably higher ratings of the wine (Almenberg and Dreber, 2011). Although, this effect was found only in women, suggesting that men and women respond differently to attribute information concerning wine.
Research and experiments conducted in this domain have continued to reinforce the idea that packaging of a product, its brand attributes, pricing, and brand colours, and even the style of language used in the product descriptions, among other factors continue to influence consumer perceptions about the product.