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Over the years there have been quite a few pieces of research completed around how customers perceive food when certain experience factors are changed including crockery, cutlery, glasses and even background noise.

Whilst we all know that customers are looking for much more than good food on a plate, not everyone realises the impact of small changes to a dining environment.

Explore our Twentyeight Cutlery

But what impact does the knife and fork we eat with have?

In 2013, researchers from the University of Oxford found that cutlery can influence the perception of how food tastes. They ran a series of experiments with 100 of their students and discovered that the weight, shape and colour of utensils impacts on how sweet or salty something tastes.

A few years later researchers at the same university also discovered that heavier cutlery can amplify the taste of the food. The study included 130 diners at a hotel in Scotland where half the diners used heavy cutlery while the other half ate with cheap economy cutlery that was a third of the weight. It impacted how artistically diners felt the food was served, how it tasted and even affected the amount diners would be prepared to pay - an incredible 15% more for the same food.

A similar experiment also showed that background music in restaurants can affect food tastes, whilst researchers found that eating from a bowl with a rounded bottom made people feel full on less food.

What’s the science?

The scientific reason behind this is known as sensation transference where design can affect a customer’s perception. This phrase was coined by Louis Cheskin who was a well-known psychologist. In the 1940’s, he observed that people’s perceptions of products were directly influenced by the aesthetic design. With this knowledge he helped big brands to become more profitable. One example was when he worked with the team at 7-Up on its packaging and discovered that by adding more yellow into the can-design it led customers to taste more lemon in the drink.

Another well-known example of sensation transference at work was when Coca-Cola changed the colour of their can from red to white, in support of endangered polar bears. Customers thought the formula of the drink had changed, but it was only the packaging that was different. Whilst Coca-Cola aimed to do something positive they faced a serious amount of backlash from confused customers.

One cutlery brand that was created with sensation transference in mind was our own Twentyeight range. This includes a stunning range of five designs in beautifully finished 18/10 stainless steel with an unmistakable feel of weight and quality. One of these is the Gamma products which were inspired by the shape of the classic waveform. It is a highly stylised range of cutlery with sweeping curves which you will see in all the pieces of the range, including our Stonewash additions. Gamma will add drama to any table presentation.

Read more about the thinking behind Twentyeight.

Learn more about the Gamma range

Watch our new video to find out more about the power of innovation with our i360 research:

Other products in the Twentyeight range include Delta, Epsilon, Theta and Omega which have all been created to add more value to a diner’s experience, shop the ranges here.

If you would like to find out even more about these products, please get in touch. Share your inspiration and experiences with us via Twitter and Instagram and on Facebook.


• https://flavourjournal.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/2044-7248-2-21
• https://flavourjournal.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s13411-015-0036-y


Lockhart Catering on 5 April 2018 9:00 AM

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