Chocolate Surprise

“Life is like a box of chocolates….”

This is Sandra Tsing Loh with the Loh Down on Science saying, wise words from Forrest Gump!

We’ve all heard not to judge a book by its cover. But what about chocolates?

Meet Frank Dunshea and his team from the University of Melbourne. They presented a plain dark chocolate in six different wrapper designs to seventy-five participants. The designs suggested different themes -Fun! Healthy! Special!

The participants were asked to evaluate the exact same chocolate under three different conditions. First, a blind test where they couldn’t see the wrapper. Next, they judged the chocolate by ONLY looking at its wrapper. Lastly? Both the TASTE and the PACKAGING of the chocolate TOGETHER.

Results? Volunteers liked the chocolate more when eaten BLINDLY rather than AFTER seeing the wrapper. However, expectations from package design influenced how much they LIKED the chocolate. Fun or bold designs led to high expectations. When those expectations weren’t met, they liked the candy less.

Findings from this study can improve understanding of consumer choices.

So next time you reach for a Kit Kat, eat it with your eyes closed!