Designing multisensory eating and drinking experiences

Below, I present an excerpt from a recent article that I wrote on multisensory eating and drinking for insight+, a publication by the Institute of Asian Consumer Insight in Singapore:

Imagine a typical everyday meal at a restaurant or a hawker centre. With just a little bit of attention you can begin to see that even a simple dining experience is actually a superb fusion of the sensual world around us. At this hypothetical eatery, the menu—specifically its visual design and food descriptions – allows you to imagine the (hopefully) delicious meal you’re about to consume. This is how we embark on our journey through the senses. You’ve ordered, and eventually your food arrives. Immediately, the plated food’s visual characteristics and aroma waft towards you giving a hint as to what you’re about to put in your mouth. To dive into your dish, you may decide to pick up the food directly with your hands or use specific tableware — chopsticks, a fork and steak knife, or a soup spoon. As this happens, you may be immersed in a sonic atmosphere, possibly some drifting notes of background music or the hustle and bustle noise of a busy street. Then you take your first bite. You experience a habitual yet remarkable multisensory impression: that is, flavour. “Flavour” results primarily from the combination of taste and smell as well as some elements of touch1. By now, effectively all your senses have been engaged.

If you want to read the full article, click here.

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