Smell is an important part of snacking, study finds

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Smelling McCain’s jacket potatoes at a bus shelter…

Aroma is an essential component of the snacking experience for millennials, and many want their food products to immediately emanate the smell of their central flavors, according to a recent survey published in Bakery and Snacks. The survey included 1,000 male and female participants from the U.K., Germany, France, Spain and Poland. Food and beverage manufacturers have long known that consumers eat with all five senses. Pringles performed an experiment where they played the sound of different chips crunching for consumers. The brand determined that the sound a chip makes when broken was a strong indicator of whether it was stale or fresh. Pringles used that feedback to modify its chips’ texture, as well as its packaging and marketing campaigns, to reinforce the sound of fresh chips. Food manufacturers such as McCain Food have also leveraged product aroma in order to create multi-sensory experiences for their consumers.

In 2012, McCain Foods announced plans to set up scent-shooting machines in the frozen food aisles next to it’s Ready-Baked Jacket potatoes at Tesco and Asda stores. Customers were welcome to step up and activate the unit to produce the smell of heating potatoes. In this case, the consumer could smell the product in a highly-concentrated form, even though the product itself couldn’t give off the scent from the freezer case. This could be a fun, interactive way for manufacturers to get consumers excited about frozen food products, especially since product smell indicates freshness to many consumers — a reputation frozen food makers have long tried to capture.

Read the full story published by FoodDIVE