Assessing the Influence of the Drinking Receptacle on the Perception of the Contents
Spence C., Wan X.
© 2016 Elsevier Ltd All rights reserved. When we drink, we nearly always come into direct contact with the receptacles-the glasses, cups, mugs, cans, and bottles-in which those drinks are contained. In this chapter, we assess the impact that the physical and sensory attributes of the receptacle on people's perception of the contents. First, we review the latest evidence concerning how the shape of the receptacle influences people's perception of the likely taste/flavor of a drink. It turns out that the drinking vessel can affect everything from a consumer's hedonic response to a beverage through to how refreshing they find it. Second, we review the research demonstrating that the color, weight, and texture of the receptacle influences people's perception of the contents, and introduce the notion of "sensation transference." Third, we review those consumer studies that have attempted to assess how containers influence both people's initial perception of volume, and their subsequent consumption, of beverages. Last, but by no means least, we point out the implications of the latest research findings for marketing, and highlight a number of potentially fruitful directions for future research. Taken together, the available evidence demonstrates that the vessels from which we drink (although being frequently neglected by the scientific research community) exert a far greater influence over our perception of the sensory and hedonic qualities of the contents, and on our consumption behaviors than is often realized.