Savor the Flavor of Differently Shaped Packaging

November 07, 2017

juice glasses

We’re getting excited for a great Thanksgiving season, and we can’t wait to cram delicious food of all sorts into our stomachs. While there’s little chance we’ll be able to stay in shape after we hit the dinner table, today we’re taking a scientific approach to how the shape of packaging can affect what we eat and drink!

As it turns out, the shape of your packaging can hold a lot of power over the consumer, and we’re not just talking about how they physically hold it. Three separate studies experimented with the shape of various drink vessels: soda bottles, beer glassware and coffee mugs.

Just by varying the vessel’s material composition, curvature and texture, drinkers reported vastly different flavors: cola tasted sweeter, ales tasted fruitier and java tasted more bitter… even though it was the same liquid in both containers! So what the heck is going on here??

Beer drinkers always have glass shape on the mind.

As we’ve covered before, all five senses can dramatically affect how we experience food and beverages. These “cross-sensory correspondences,” as scientists call them, may be caused by how we internalize patterns in food: ripe apples are red, so we associate the color red with freshness and crispness. Spiky salad leaves are bitter, so we associate jagged edges with bitterness. Packaging shapes may be an extension of this experience.

So next time you reach for a tasty snack, think about the shape of the package. This new scientific breakthrough proves that you’ll learn a lot about the product before you even take the first bite, so first impressions really do matter. If you’re looking to help your packaging take shape, give us a call to see how our design specialists can help make it appeal to all senses.

Download our white paper to see how Ernest helped one chip company take a new shape to reach greater success in their market.