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The shape of creaminess: consumers expected and perceived rounded chocolates as creamier than squared

Iuri Yudi Furukita Baptista (Universidade Estadual de Campinas, Campinas, Brazil)
Fabiana Carvalho (Universidade Estadual de Campinas, Campinas, Brazil)
Priscilla Efraim (Universidade Estadual de Campinas, Campinas, Brazil)
Paulo Túlio de Souza Silveira (Universidade Estadual de Campinas, Campinas, Brazil)
Jorge Behrens (Universidade Estadual de Campinas, Campinas, Brazil)

British Food Journal

ISSN: 0007-070X

Article publication date: 7 October 2021

Issue publication date: 21 March 2022

380

Abstract

Purpose

Research on cross-modal sensory interactions has shown that visual aspects of food can influence consumer's expectation and perception of taste, mouthfeel and liking. This paper aims to investigate the effects of a rounded (“bouba”) and a squared (“kiki”) shape on expected and perceived sweetness, bitterness, creaminess and liking of chocolates.

Design/methodology/approach

Brazilian consumers (N = 230) divided into two groups of 115 individuals each evaluated five chocolates containing 30, 40, 50, 60 and 70% of cocoa. One of the groups evaluated all formulations in the rounded shape and the other in the squared shape. Results were analysed with mixed multivariate analysis of variance (mixed-MANOVA) between shapes, repeated-measures MANOVA between pre- and post-tasting and Pearson's correlation analysis was performed between liking ratings and sweetness, bitterness and creaminess confirmation/disconfirmation.

Findings

The study found significant effects (p < 0.05) of shape on expected and perceived creaminess but not on other attributes; of cocoa percentage (30, 40, 50, 60 and 70%) on all four attributes; and time (pre- and post-tasting) on sweetness, bitterness and liking but not creaminess. Finally, it found significant negative correlations between the creaminess difference indices and the liking ratings for the 30, 50 and 60% chocolates.

Originality/value

This study reports that consumers may expect and perceive chocolates as creamier in a rounded shape than in an angular shape and that if the expectation of creaminess is not confirmed by sensory perception, acceptability may be negatively affected.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

This research was funded by the Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico (CNPq) (140397/2018-3). The cocoa mass and deodorized cocoa butter were kindly donated by Barry Callebaut Brazil. We thank Alessandra Cazelatto and Marie Even for their support on the conduction of the sensory sessions. The authors have no conflict of interest to declare.

Citation

Yudi Furukita Baptista, I., Carvalho, F., Efraim, P., de Souza Silveira, P.T. and Behrens, J. (2022), "The shape of creaminess: consumers expected and perceived rounded chocolates as creamier than squared", British Food Journal, Vol. 124 No. 5, pp. 1697-1711. https://doi.org/10.1108/BFJ-06-2021-0675

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2021, Emerald Publishing Limited

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