ESN-Industry Partnership Project #1


"Memorability" of food and eating situations

Hunger feelings make us think about and look for food. Sometimes we all of a sudden think about a particular food. Which foods come to mind in these moments and what are the properties of the food that make us remember one food better than another? Although the non-intentional learning methods developed in recent years may tell us what properties of the food are better remembered than other properties, they do not predict what foods we will spontaneously remember. New methods are needed to predict the “memorability” of foods and of eating situations. In developing these new methods great care is taken to remain as close to everyday life conditions as possible. Situational factors will also be taken into account.

Insight in the interplay of these factors will help the industry to create and successfully market memorable products. The proposed project is a first exploration of the respective roles of intrinsic (appearance, flavour, texture, etc), collative (liking, perceived complexity, harmony, etc.) properties and extrinsic factors (situation, brand, etc,) in the “memorability” of food. The effects of a number of these factors (environment, ambient odour, food complexity and company) will be investigated. The results of this exploratory study can be used as the basis for a large scale validation experiment with other subjects and a different selection of food products.

Involved ESN partners

  • Centre for Innovative Consumer Studies, University of Wageningen, The Netherlands
  • UMR FLAVIC, INRA-ENESAD - Université de Bourgogne, France
  • Copenhagen University (KU), Denemark

Some foods are more memorable than others, why?

© F. Hübener/ESN