Feeding the brain: the role psychology plays in buying, eating and enjoying food

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The psychology of food. A presentation given at the inaugural Food Vision event in Cannes, France.

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  • Need States are the motivation for consumption occassion
  • Need States are the motivation for consumption occassion
  • Need States are the motivation for consumption occassion
  • Need States are the motivation for consumption occassion
  • This is my Mother and step-dad MikeAbout 5 years ago we noticed my Mum getting thin. They did checks but couldn’t work out problem.Until she confessed that she didn’t know what food she liked.It turns out she had early stages of alzheimers which meant she found it difficult to remember what she liked. It was just that she couldn’t remember what she liked when ordering food, even when it was in her mouth she didn’t know because her ability to recall her experiences had been destroyed.One of the consequences of the alzheimers is that she finds it difficult to regulate her emotions. Not because her brain is in emotional turmoil but because she can’t use food as a mechanism to regulate and recreate them.Any business that understands how their food creates and sedates emotional Need States is well on the way to creating a must have product marketed in the best way.
  • This is my Mother and step-dad MikeAbout 5 years ago we noticed my Mum getting thin. They did checks but couldn’t work out problem.Until she confessed that she didn’t know what food she liked.It turns out she had early stages of alzheimers which meant she found it difficult to remember what she liked. It was just that she couldn’t remember what she liked when ordering food, even when it was in her mouth she didn’t know because her ability to recall her experiences had been destroyed.One of the consequences of the alzheimers is that she finds it difficult to regulate her emotions. Not because her brain is in emotional turmoil but because she can’t use food as a mechanism to regulate and recreate them.Any business that understands how their food creates and sedates emotional Need States is well on the way to creating a must have product marketed in the best way.
  • Do we use scent enough?84% viewed the trainer in the scented room as superiorIn a night club scented with orange, peppermint and seawater patrons danced longer and reported a better time with superior music being played.In a scented casino people gambled 45% more money in a slot machine when a pleasant scent was introduced to the area.
  • Feeding the brain: the role psychology plays in buying, eating and enjoying food

    1. 1. 1Richard SedleyFood Vision, Cannes, France – Thursday 21 March 2013Feeding the brainThe role psychology plays in buying, eating & enjoying food
    2. 2. 2Omni-Retailing: Serving the Evolving Customer – Tuesday 5 March 2013Who we work for…
    3. 3. 3Food Vision: Connecting Leaders in Food – 21 March 2013Feeding the brainPsychology and food• a bit about taste• a bit of science• a few cool examples• three stories
    4. 4. 4Food VisionFood Vision: Connecting Leaders in Food – 21 March 20131.The First EncounterStory
    5. 5. 5Feeding the brainFood Vision: Connecting Leaders in Food – 21 March 2013My parents took me abroad for the first time at the age of six to Spain. My father ordered tapas and without telling uswhat anything was and got us to taste each dish and give it a mark out of ten. Nothing scored lower than a seven.Only afterwards did he tell me what everything was. It was a great way to overcome the ‘yuk’ factor.
    6. 6. 6Food Vision: Connecting Leaders in Food – 21 March 2013Feeding the brainUnderstanding taste
    7. 7. 7Feeding the brainFood Vision: Connecting Leaders in Food – 21 March 2013What influences tasteGenetics ExperienceCulture ChoiceAorBSweet = ripe, Bitter = poisonOvertime our taste buds havedeveloped to reflect ourenvironment.Our context influences what welike. Milky substances like icecream work in India, but notChina.The experience we associate withthe food we consume are the mostimportant factor in establishing ourlife long taste choices.The nature vs. nurture debatealways forget free choice.Ultimately we can decide what welike or not.
    8. 8. 8Feeding the brainFood Vision: Connecting Leaders in Food – 21 March 2013The stages of taste developmentYoungster Young adult Established StaidWhen young we prefer milderfoods. Vanilla remains a favouriteand is linked to early stage milk.Food is often the one area kidshave control over and it canbecome a battle ground.Our peers are a key influence onus. Even tastes we initially dislikeare persisted with in order to fit ine.g. beer.By mid adulthood our tastes arelargely established and only fined,often as a reflection of status i.e.wine.By late adulthood (60+) thewillingness to experience haslargely dissipated and aconservative approach to food isadopted.
    9. 9. 9Feeding the brainFood Vision: Connecting Leaders in Food – 21 March 2013The stages of taste developmentYoungster Young adult Established StaidWhen young we prefer milderfoods. Vanilla remains a favouriteand is linked to early stage milk.Our context influences what welike. Milky substances like icecream work in India, but notChina.The experience we associate withthe food we consume are the mostimportant factor in establishing ourlife long taste choices.The nature vs. nurture debatealways forget free choice.Ultimately we can decide what welike or not.
    10. 10. 10A quick summaryOmni-Retailing: Serving the Evolving Customer – Tuesday 5 March 2013Feeding the brain1. Genetics might create our taste buds but…2. Our taste is shaped in our youth – within the context ofour culture and first family, then friends3. Our first encounters with food drive and fix our emotions4. The type of food we chose is driven by the emotions wewant to create5. In order to innovate in food we need to understand theemotional Need States of consumers
    11. 11. 11Food Vision: Connecting Leaders in Food – 21 March 2013Feeding the brainFuelHunger ReliefHungerSuppressantSavouryIndulgenceSweetIndulgenceLight HealthyIndulgenceSmallRitual Treat SpicyFoodWarmingFlavourEnhance-mentCoolRefreshingStimulatingLift theSpirits Get aHighSharedgiftTreatTreatIngredientsFinish offTreatRitualEscapeHabitualPleasureReverieNeededEscapeContinuouschew / suckFrequentchew / suckMouthToyPeacefulCalmingComforting(serenity)MentalEnergyPhysicalEnergyEnergyLightSnackProactiveHealthyFoodRestrictDietFlavourIndulgenceTrick theMindStrongTasteNeeds StatesSnackingCredit: The Taste SignatureRevealed by Roberts & Mustard
    12. 12. 12Food Vision: Connecting Leaders in Food – 21 March 2013Feeding the brainHungerSuppressantSmallRitual TreatCoolRefreshingStimulatingTreatIngredientsRitualEscapeMouthToyPeacefulEnergyLightSnackStrongTasteNeeds StatesSnackingMood changingorbitCredit: The Taste Signature Revealedby Roberts & Mustard
    13. 13. 13Food Vision: Connecting Leaders in Food – 21 March 2013Feeding the brainHunger ReliefHungerSuppressantLight HealthyIndulgenceSmallRitual Treat WarmingFlavourEnhancementCoolRefreshingStimulatingLift theSpiritsTreatIngredientsFinish offTreatRitualEscapeHabitualPleasureReverieFrequentchew / suckMouthToyPeacefulCalmingPhysicalEnergyEnergyLightSnackProactiveHealthyFoodTrick theMindStrongTasteNeeds StatesSnackingDeeper emotion/ ImmersionorbitCredit: The Taste SignatureRevealed by Roberts & Mustard
    14. 14. 14Food Vision: Connecting Leaders in Food – 21 March 2013Feeding the brainFuelHunger ReliefHungerSuppressantSavouryIndulgenceSweetIndulgenceLight HealthyIndulgenceSmallRitual Treat SpicyFoodWarmingFlavourEnhance-mentCoolRefreshingStimulatingLift theSpirits Get aHighSharedgiftTreatTreatIngredientsFinish offTreatRitualEscapeHabitualPleasureReverieNeededEscapeContinuouschew / suckFrequentchew / suckMouthToyPeacefulCalmingComforting(serenity)MentalEnergyPhysicalEnergyEnergyLightSnackProactiveHealthyFoodRestrictDietFlavourIndulgenceTrick theMindStrongTasteNeeds StatesSnackingLoss of control/ excess /temperanceorbitCredit: The Taste SignatureRevealed by Roberts & Mustard
    15. 15. 15Food Vision: Connecting Leaders in Food – 21 March 2013Feeding the brainFuelHunger ReliefHungerSuppressantSavouryIndulgenceSweetIndulgenceLight HealthyIndulgenceSmallRitual Treat SpicyFoodWarmingFlavourEnhance-mentCoolRefreshingStimulatingLift theSpirits Get aHighSharedgiftTreatTreatIngredientsFinish offTreatRitualEscapeHabitualPleasureReverieNeededEscapeContinuouschew / suckFrequentchew / suckMouthToyPeacefulCalmingComforting(serenity)MentalEnergyPhysicalEnergyEnergyLightSnackProactiveHealthyFoodRestrictDietFlavourIndulgenceTrick theMindStrongTasteNeeds StatesSnackingLoss of control/ excess /temperanceorbitCredit: The Taste SignatureRevealed by Roberts & Mustard
    16. 16. 16Food Vision: Connecting Leaders in Food – 21 March 2013Feeding the brainFuelHunger ReliefHungerSuppressantSavouryIndulgenceSweetIndulgenceLight HealthyIndulgenceSmallRitual Treat SpicyFoodWarmingFlavourEnhance-mentCoolRefreshingStimulatingLift theSpirits Get aHighSharedgiftTreatTreatIngredientsFinish offTreatRitualEscapeHabitualPleasureReverieNeededEscapeContinuouschew / suckFrequentchew / suckMouthToyPeacefulCalmingComforting(serenity)MentalEnergyPhysicalEnergyEnergyLightSnackProactiveHealthyFoodRestrictDietFlavourIndulgenceTrick theMindStrongTasteNeeds StatesSnackingLoss of control/ excess /temperanceorbitCredit: The Taste SignatureRevealed by Roberts & Mustard
    17. 17. 17Food VisionFood Vision: Connecting Leaders in Food – 21 March 20132.Developing a PalateStory
    18. 18. 18Feeding the brainFood Vision: Connecting Leaders in Food – 21 March 2013My first ever pomegranate was picked up from the floor of an orchardon a Kibbutz in Israel. I’d never tasted anything so wonderful. It cameto represent independence, luxury and adulthood.
    19. 19. 19Food Vision: Connecting Leaders in Food – 21 March 2013Feeding the brainThe science bit• Mapping the taste signature• Measuring the brain
    20. 20. 20Food Vision: Connecting Leaders in Food – 21 March 2013Feeding the brainThe science bit• Mapping the taste signature• Measuring the brain
    21. 21. 21The taste journeyOmni-Retailing: Serving the Evolving Customer – Tuesday 5 March 2013Feeding the brainAppearanceAromaFront of MouthMid & Rear MouthAftertasteAfter-effects1.2.3.4.5.6.Taste is anticipated from visual cuesMust align with the other components of thejourneyForms initial judgment, often associatedwith stimulation and excitementWhere more complex messagesemergeCritical to the enjoyment of the productand whether it is revisited (or not)Critical to the enjoyment of the productand whether it is revisited (or not)
    22. 22. 22Shape of a taste - Granola AOmni-Retailing: Serving the Evolving Customer – Tuesday 5 March 2013Feeding the brainDuration of tasteTasteintensityInitial crunch releaseslow level sweetnessFurther chewing & crunching releaseslarge amount of varied tastes & texturesDried fruitysweetnesscleanses themouthFresh & clean slightly sweetbut wholesome aftertasteCredit: The Taste Signature Revealed by Roberts & Mustard
    23. 23. 23Shape of a taste - Granola BOmni-Retailing: Serving the Evolving Customer – Tuesday 5 March 2013Feeding the brainDuration of tasteTasteintensityInitial crunch releasessemi-intense sweetnessFurther & long similar size one-dimensionalcrunch & chew – much effortRelease limited sweet fruit flavourswith occasional bursts of short-livedflavour from nuts / fruitOne-dimensional with limited natural‘healthy’ signals which fade quickly butpersistent processed note remainsCredit: The Taste Signature Revealed by Roberts & Mustard
    24. 24. 24Food Vision: Connecting Leaders in Food – 21 March 2013Feeding the brainThe science bit• Mapping the taste signature• Measuring the brain
    25. 25. 25Feeding the brainFood Vision: Connecting Leaders in Food – 21 March 2013
    26. 26. 26SynapseNeurotransmittersSynaptic cleftFeeding the brainFood Vision: Connecting Leaders in Food – 21 March 2013Inspired by an original graphic presented by Joe Leech @MrJoe
    27. 27. 27Feeding the brainFood Vision: Connecting Leaders in Food – 21 March 2013
    28. 28. 28Feeding the brainFood Vision: Connecting Leaders in Food – 21 March 2013
    29. 29. 29Feeding the brainFood Vision: Connecting Leaders in Food – 21 March 2013We used to have to use this which took ages to set up.
    30. 30. 30Feeding the brainFood Vision: Connecting Leaders in Food – 21 March 2013Now we use this. Cruder but much simpler to set upand it provides everything we need for our insight tests
    31. 31. 31Feeding the brainFood Vision: Connecting Leaders in Food – 21 March 2013
    32. 32. 32Food VisionFood Vision: Connecting Leaders in Food – 21 March 20133.Memory lossStory
    33. 33. 33Food Vision: Connecting Leaders in Food – 21 March 2013Feeding the brainMy family noticed that my mother was getting thin. Eventually she was diagnosed with dementia and ‘confessed’ thatshe didn’t know what food she liked, even when it was in her mouth. The connection between her experiences andtaste had been broken. As a consequence she now finds it difficult to regulate her emotions through the types of foodshe consumes – something that we usually take for granted.
    34. 34. 34Food Vision: Connecting Leaders in Food – 21 March 2013Feeding the brain
    35. 35. 35Food Vision: Connecting Leaders in Food – 21 March 2013Feeding the brainA bit of fun:examples of the brain in action• Buying• Eating• Enjoying
    36. 36. 36Food Vision: Connecting Leaders in Food – 21 March 2013Feeding the brainExperiments indicate that providing a sample instore encourages ‘indulgence’, and customersare more likely to splash-out of a range ofproducts.But beware because a customer that refuses asample is more likely to have their self-denialstrengthened and subsequent sales can dip.
    37. 37. 37Can too much choice be a bad thing?
    38. 38. 38• 42 different jams 60% looked 3% bought• 3 different jams 40% looked 30% bought1000 browsers, 1 euro per jar• 42 jams = 18 euros• 3 jams = 120 eurosFood Vision: Connecting Leaders in Food – 21 March 2013Feeding the brain
    39. 39. 39French music played in store German music played in store
    40. 40. 40Food Vision: Connecting Leaders in Food – 21 March 2013Feeding the brainTrue story: I spotted this can of tuna in the chocolate aisle. For 20 mins no one touched the chocolate. Once removedchocolate was selected roughly once ever 30 seconds. A phenomenon known as psychic contamination.
    41. 41. 41Food Vision: Connecting Leaders in Food – 21 March 2013Feeding the brainThe power of scent84% of consumers placed in a scented room rateda pair of running shoes as better than those in a roomwithout the pleasant smell, despite being the same shoes.A casino found that people gambled 45% moremoney on slot machines when there was a nicescent in the air.
    42. 42. 42Food Vision: Connecting Leaders in Food – 21 March 2013Feeding the brain
    43. 43. 43Food Vision: Connecting Leaders in Food – 21 March 2013Feeding the brain
    44. 44. 44SatisfactionPeak-end ruleTimePEAKENDFood Vision: Connecting Leaders in Food – 21 March 2013Feeding the brain
    45. 45. 45Richard Sedley@richardsedleywww.seren.comThanks for listening.I hope it has been interestingFood Vision: Connecting Leaders in Food – 21 March 2013Feeding the brainRecommended reading for more persuasion examples:Brainfluence: 100 ways to persuade and convinceconsumers with neuromarketing by Roger Dooley

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