Effects of Sequential Sensory Cues on Food Taste Perception

Assistant Professor of Marketing, Lauren I. Labrecque along with Dipayan Biswas (University of South Florida) and Donald R. Lehmann (Columbia University) joined forces to produce their latest research paper, Effects of Sequential Sensory Cues on Food Taste Perception.

Published in the Journal of Consumer Psychology, this research takes the novel approach of examining order effects of different sensory cues encountered sequentially (rather than simultaneously).

Specifically, four experiments examine the effects of sequentially encountered visual and olfactory sensory cues on food taste perception. We theorize and find empirical evidence that an olfactory cue benefits from first encountering a visual cue, but not vice versa. More specifically, encountering a visual cue before (vs. after) an olfactory cue (i.e., V‐O vs. O‐V sequence) results in more positive outcomes (higher taste perception, volume consumed, product recommendation, and choice).

Moreover, ease of processing the olfactory cue mediates the effect of sensory cue sequence on taste perception. These findings highlight the sensory cross‐modal effects of sequential visual and olfactory cues on gustatory perceptions and have implications for consumer wellbeing as well as for food/beverage packaging and for designing retail outlets and restaurants