Skip to comments.Think that chocolate is from Switzerland? You may enjoy it more...
Posted on 07/20/2011 5:21:47 PM PDT by Diana in Wisconsin
(During a taste test, participants that were told that the chocolate was from Switzerland enjoyed it more. Those told of the chocolate's supposed origin after the taste test enjoyed it less.)
Swiss chocolate's reputation influences how people rate it in taste tests, a new study shows. When consumers are told that they're about to eat a chocolate bar from Switzerland, they prefer it to that same bar tagged "made in China."
If they are told about the Swiss chocolate bar's origin after they taste the candy, however, they say they prefer the Chinese chocolate.
Researchers from Babson Collegein Wellesley, Mass., gave participants the same squares of Trader Joe's brand chocolate. Half of the participants were told that the chocolate was made in Switzerland, while the other half were told it was made in China.
"When they were given the country of origin before tasting, the students liked the chocolate more when they were told it was from Switzerland," the authors write in a recent issue of the Journal of Consumer Research. "This was expected because Switzerland has a strong reputation for chocolate whereas China does not."
The knowledge set up participants' expectations and seemed to change their gustatory experiences. When people learn the country of origin (or price in another study) before they sample the chocolate it influences their expectations. When they are told the chocolate is from Switzerland, they expect it to taste good and when they are told it is from China they expect it to taste bad. So they like the same chocolate more when they are told it is from Switzerland.
When some of the participants were told the "origin" of the chocolate after they had eaten it, the opposite was found: They rated the China chocolate as better tasting than the Swiss bar.
"When they learn country of origin afterward, it tells them what the sampling experience should have been like," study researcher Keith Wilcox, assistant professor of marketing at Babson College in Massachusetts, told LiveScience. "When they are told it is from Switzerland, it is not as good as they would have expected it to be, so they like it less. Similarly, when they are told it is from China, it is not as bad as they would have expected it to be, so they like it more."
The researchers got the same results when they conducted a similar study using price instead of country of origin, with participants expecting the more expensive chocolate to taste better.
Next, the researchers went to a Boston-area liquor store to test people's reaction to the same wine. Customers were told the store was conducting a blind taste test of a new wine. After tasting, half of the customers were told that the wine was from Italy, and the remaining customers were told that it was from India, a country not known for producing fine wines.
"As in previous studies, people liked the wine more when they were told it was from India after sampling compared to when they were told it was from Italy," the authors wrote.
Suffice it to say they told you right off: Contains: wheat egg milk soy chocolate nuts and other ingredients that may create allergic reactions in susceptible people.
There's not a whole lot more you need to say about a chocolate bar!
Everyone worldwide enjoy Brats more if they think they were made in Wisconsin. ;)
Big pfft alert. I must be immune to this branding nonsense. If it says “Swiss chocolate” and it doesn’t taste good, then it just doesn’t taste good. If Cadbury’s or Hershey’s tastes better to me, then that’s the bottom line.
It's all the lead and melamine that makes it so delicious!
I thought belgian chocolate was supposed to be the best in the world?
Did my tax dollars pay for this?
Count on it! :(
Mrs. jimfree’s department head in grad school gave her a “silk” scarf from a China trip. The attached label (viewable only after opening the box) revealed it to be rayon.
FYI. In the US, Cadbury’s IS Hersheys. Elsewhere, Cadbury’s tastes great!
P.S. Be sure to visit a chocolate farm when you're there.
I’m a Lindt Girl. :)
That study sounds like it’s full of holes.
I think it is about the quality control problems people have with Chinese receipes.
The Swiss have no such reputation.
See's ... I agree 100%
Do the Swiss chocolate trees grow near the Swiss spaghetti orchards, or do they require different climates?
I remember back in the 80’s Godiva Chocolateer of Georgetown (Wash DC for the flyover folks)was promoting all their high-end Swiss and Belgian chocolates. Washingtonian Magazine did an article on it. Seems they had a blind taste test. Hershey of Pennsylvania won hands down over the pricey, European stuff.
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