Blending Emotions and Cross-Modality in Sonic Seasoning: Towards Greater Applicability in the Design of Multisensory Food Experiences.
Reinoso-Carvalho F., Gunn LH., Horst ET., Spence C.
Sonic seasoning refers to the way in which music can influence multisensory tasting experiences. To date, the majority of the research on sonic seasoning has been conducted in Europe or the USA, typically in a within-participants experimental context. In the present study, we assessed the applicability of sonic seasoning in a large-scale between-participants setting in Asia. A sample of 1611 participants tasted one sample of chocolate while listening to a song that evoked a specific combination of cross-modal and emotional consequences. The results revealed that the music's emotional character had a more prominent effect than its cross-modally corresponding attributes on the multisensory tasting experience. Participants expressed a higher buying intention for the chocolate and rated it as having a softer texture when listening to mainly positive (as compared to mainly negative) music. The chocolates were rated as having a more intense flavor amongst those participants listening to 'softer' as compared to 'harder' music. Therefore, the present study demonstrates that music is capable of triggering a combination of specific cross-modal and emotional effects in the multisensory tasting experience of a chocolate.