Germany-Based Company Uses Virtual Reality to Study the Perception of Taste

The company, Döhler, is taking consumer research out of the lab
Döhler Group

Döhler Group

The Germany-based company is using technology to bring natural flavors in beverages to consumers.

This year at the beverage trade show Brau Beviale in Germany, Döhler, one of the world’s leading producers and suppliers of natural ingredients in the food and beverage industry, used virtual reality to influence perceptions of taste.

Döhler used the experience of drinking an herb soda as its primary taste test, Beverage Daily reported. Guests were allowed to drink an herb soda at the trade show, and then taste the soda again with a virtual reality experience. The virtual reality headset simulated a vista of the German Alps, while the headphones played sounds of birds chirping.

The idea behind the experiment was that experiencing the same flavor in different settings can have an impact on the perception of taste. Guests could attribute a more positive and flavorful tasting experience with the virtual reality simulation rather than a busy trade show. 

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“When you are on holiday and you buy wine, then buy it [at] home, the wine tastes different,” Olaf Biedekarken, head of sensory and consumer science at Döhler, told Beverage Daily.