Sensory Design and Food Packaging

Last week's New Yorker magazine featured a fascinating profile of Charles Spence. Spence, an Experimental Psychologist, has spent years studying how our different sensory experiences affect our perception of a product.

"Spence has found that a strawberry-flavored mousse tastes ten per cent sweeter when served from a white container rather than a black one; that coffee tastes nearly twice as intense but only two-thirds as sweet when it is drunk from a white mug rather than a clear glass one; that adding two and a half ounces to the weight of a plastic yogurt container makes the yogurt seem about twenty-five per cent more filling, and that bittersweet toffee tastes ten per cent more bitter if it is eaten while you're listening to low-pitched music."