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Beverages 2018, 4(1), 12;

Bittersweet Findings: Round Cups Fail to Induce Sweeter Taste

Department A & F Marketing—Consumer Psychology, Faculty of Agricultural and Nutritional Sciences, Kiel University, Wilhelm-Seelig-Platz 6/7, 24098 Kiel, Germany
Received: 1 November 2017 / Revised: 12 January 2018 / Accepted: 17 January 2018 / Published: 1 February 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Beverage Sensory Modification)
PDF [435 KB, uploaded 1 February 2018]


An increasing body of literature demonstrates that consumers associate visual information with specific gustatory elements. This phenomenon is better known as cross-modal correspondence. A specific correspondence that has received attention of late is the one between round forms and sweet taste. Research indicates that roundness (as opposed to angularity) is consistently associated with an increased sweetness perception. Focusing on two different cup forms (round versus angular), two studies tested this association for a butter milk drink and a mate-based soft drink. Results, however, were not able to corroborate the frequently suggested correspondence effect, but a correspondence was found between the angular cup and a more bitter taste for the soft drink. These results are discussed in light of previous findings matching sweetness with roundness and bitterness with angularity, hopefully aiding researchers in this field in conducting future experiments. View Full-Text
Keywords: cross-modal correspondence; shape; taste; beverage cross-modal correspondence; shape; taste; beverage

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Machiels, C.J.A. Bittersweet Findings: Round Cups Fail to Induce Sweeter Taste. Beverages 2018, 4, 12.

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