How sensory and hedonic expectations shape perceived properties of regular and non-alcoholic beer

Blackmore, Helena, Hidrio, Claire and Yeomans, Martin R (2022) How sensory and hedonic expectations shape perceived properties of regular and non-alcoholic beer. Food Quality and Preference, 99. a104562. ISSN 0950-3293

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Abstract

While the popularity of reduced alcohol beer has been increasing, consumers still sometimes complain about perceived sensory defects of these beverages. Breweries are working to improve the sensory profile of low and non-alcoholic beers by changing the product formulation, however, here we wanted to investigate the impact of psychological, rather than chemosensory determinants of flavour perception and consumer experience. As the way we experience the world around us, including gustatory perception, is shaped by our expectations, we investigated and modelled the relationships between product-related cues, expectations, and perception. We tested 87 regular beer drinkers to examine whether and how beer colour, label-based sensory descriptors and labelled alcohol content affect expected and perceived bitterness, refreshment, liking and body. Additionally, we wanted to establish, using mediation analysis, whether expectation mediate these effects. In summary, we found that both beer colour and under some circumstances sensory descriptors can shape consumers’ perception of beer taste, flavour, and mouthfeel. However, liking of beer was only influenced by labelled and actual alcohol content, not by beer colour or sensory descriptors. Finally, we have demonstrated that expectations act as a mediator, transferring the effect of intrinsic (beer colour) and extrinsic (labelled alcohol content and sensory descriptor) product cues to shape consumer sensory experience.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Psychology > Psychology
SWORD Depositor: Mx Elements Account
Depositing User: Mx Elements Account
Date Deposited: 04 Mar 2022 08:08
Last Modified: 04 Mar 2022 08:15
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/104694

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