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Drinking, unlike eating, always involves direct contact with the container in which a drink happens to be held. In our everyday lives, we typically consume beverages from glasses, cups, mugs, cans, bottles, and via straws. In this article, we consider the impact that the physical and sensory properties of a drink's container can have on people's perception of the contents. We investigate what happens to the perception of a beverage when the appropriateness of the container (to the contents) is varied. Furthermore, we also review the latest evidence showing that people's consumption behaviours can be influenced by the shape of the cup or glass. The vessel in which a drink is consumed has been shown to affect everything from a consumer's hedonic response to the beverage through to how refreshing they find it. Taken together, then, the available evidence currently supports the view that the vessels from which we drink exert a far greater influence over our perception of the sensory and hedonic qualities of the contents, and on our consumption behaviours, than is often realized. Finally, some of the current marketing opportunities in the area of branded and sensorially enhanced glassware are highlighted. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd.

Original publication




Journal article


Food Quality and Preference

Publication Date





131 - 140