4th March 2019

The Sound of the Sea: Heston Blumenthal

Working with visionary chef Heston Blumenthal, and his Experimental Kitchen, we created the dish 'The Sound of the Sea'. Based on the science of how we form emotional, sensory memories, to enhance the experience and the flavour of food.

A dish of sashimi, tapioca ‘sand’ and sea foam is served with a conch shell containing an iPod. The guests listen to a sound of waves crashing and seagulls flying overhead as they enjoy the dish.

The sound of the sea brings back memories of being by the seaside, being relaxed, the sea-spray in the air. Maybe buying freshly caught fish off the boat.

The strong sensory memories cross the threshold of consciousness and enhance perception. Making the fish taste fresher. The experience more emotional.

'The Sound of the Sea' is Heston Blumenthal's signature dish at the Fat Duck and the one everyone leaves talking about. It also generated the most PR worldwide of all the amazing inventions served at the restaurant.

You can listen to a similar soundscape below. If you want to try out the cross-modal effects, get some sashimi and stick your headphones on. Or play it in the background when you next serve fish at a dinner party.

If our post has whet your appetite for multisensory information, feel free to get in touch

Want to taste the original 'The Sound of the Sea' dish for yourself? Follow the link for more details https://www.thefatduck.co.uk/the-itinerary 

4th January 2019

Haig Club: Great Tasting Smell

How do you sample a whisky, without tasting it?

David Beckham’s whisky Haig Club is designed to be accessible, sweet, and comforting. One taste and you’re in love. But in ‘Dark Markets’, where alcohol sampling is illegal, how do you give consumers a taste? We were approached to find a sensory solution to this problem – to create a sampling mechanic at airports, where ‘liquid on lips’ sampling isn’t allowed.

Haig Aroma fact

Our key insight, that taste is at lease 80% smell, led us to create an aroma that gives the sensation of tasting Haig Club. That’s not the smell of the whisky, but the smell of the taste of the whisky. With all the luxurious mouthfeel and sweet brioche notes that you experience when you drink it. We worked closely with the distillery to define the flavour profile and then our in-house aroma team created the perfect scent.

Referencing David Beckham’s love of body art, we then created a Haig Club crest, etched onto a stamp. And imbued Haig Club Blue ink with the brand aroma.

Haig Club Stamp

When travellers were invited to taste the whiskey, a brand ambassador applied the scented ink stamp to the back of their hand. They were then gestured to raise their hand in a toast, and bring it to their nose to ‘drink up’ the aroma. They not only experienced the taste, but were left with a beautiful smelling Haig Club crest on their hand for the flight home.

5 times more samples were handed out and an uplift in sales was reported straight away. It was so successful that Haig Club began using the sampling at Heathrow, where you can do real samples.

30th November 2018

Heineken’s Wild Lager – A Journey of Discovery

A JOURNEY OF DISCOVERY

Heineken developed three limited edition lagers to help enhance their craft credentials and to engage with the more adventurous beer drinker. They were each created using ‘wild yeasts’ found in remote locations around the world. Each one giving the beer a unique character.

Wild lager 5

A yeast discovered in the Himalayas produced a crisp, fresh citrus profile. Clove spice from one discovered in Patagonia. And a full rich, almost sweet flavour from the Blue Ridge Mountains.

Using our knowledge of how to communicate the emotional world of the products – all about craft, discovery, openness to experience - and the sensory cues to evoke the different flavour profiles, we defined a ‘sensory territory’ for each variant. The documents help global marketing strategically position the ‘Wild Lager’ brand and the products, defining the brand essence and personality. The sensory territory also includes design briefs for the creation of all the brand collateral – from the labels, bottle shape and packaging, to Key visuals, POS and merchandise.

WIld lager guidelines

Then we moved on to create a touring experience to engage consumers with the new products…

WILD LAGER DISCOVERY

Wild Lager Discovery is a touring bar and taste experience, made out of two shipping containers, connected by a huge 20m canopy. Every element was designed by us, following our own sensory briefs.

One container opens up to create a walk-in bar serving the three Wild Lagers. Decked out in living walls and 
a huge timber bar etched with a world map. A wild natural soundscape plays.

The garden terrace features weathered furniture, a grass floor, festoon lighting. We created playlists for different times of the day and days of the week. Shadows of leaves project onto the canopy at night.

Wild Lager Rooms

The second container holds 12 people at a time for a three course immersive tasting. As each beer is brought out, projection-mapped sequences make it seem like one end of the container opens to reveal a different location. The lighting changes colour. A canapé comes out along with the lager and an aroma or ingredient to touch and smell. The environment highlights the individual flavours of each beer.

‘Discovery’ premiered in Amsterdam in June 2018, before moving to Bilbao and then Madrid. More destinations are planned for next summer.

If our post has left you thirsty for more information about how you could incorporate multisensory experiences into your business, why not get in touch with us?

28th October 2018

Celebrating 90 Years of Heavenly Chocolate

What better way to celebrate an important anniversary of one of life’s most sensorially-rich pleasures than with an event that puts you at the heart of a box of chocolates? Our challenge was to launch the new Godiva anniversary collection while sharing the unique craftmanship and heritage behind the brand.

An emotional journey

It started with a cryptic invitation and waft of the brand’s signature chocolate and hazelnut aroma to get people into the spirit of the event. The invitation also featured an abstract golden shard – each piece brought together at the event to create a striking abstract artwork. Guests were met in Brussels by coaches filled with the signature aroma they remembered from the invitation, along with a branded soundscape. At the art deco venue that reflected the art of the chocolatiers, they found themselves in a unique triple-layered multisensory experience. 150 VIP journalists and media people were taken through the past, present and future of the brand.

Three steps to heaven

In layer one, they learned about the history of Godiva and were treated to a sensory showcase of the key ingredients from the unique Aroma Organ. In layer two, they enjoyed the ultimate sampling extravaganza that showcased the new anniversary collection using taste, sound, light, colour and blown air to engage every sense. In the third layer, the VIPs sat down to a sensory three-course dining experience to celebrate Godiva’s latest innovation – rose and raspberry.

A 3-star experience

Created by 3 Michelin star chef Christophe Hardiquest and accompanied by immersive lighting, aroma and projections to enhance the flavours and textures of the food. The new flavour was showcased with its own firework display in tandem with the distinctive new aroma.

Continuing the story

Every second of the event was planned and managed by Condiment Junkie – from the research and scientific insights to the creative execution and staff training. And the event was a huge success, generating more than 16 million $US of press coverage. As well as impressing on the night, the aromas and other sensory elements, such as the Aroma Organ, were designed to be modular and have been taken into retail to continue the story beyond the exclusive event. Trials have shown an uplift in sales of specific chocolates when these sensory elements are installed in retail outlets.

Want to find out about some of the other exciting projects we've worked on? Check out the case studies on our blog!

26th July 2018

A Digital Taste Experience for Ketel One

Sipping the nations favourite mid-Sunday morning cocktail has now become another of one life’s great pleasures that ‘has an app' to enhance the taste experience. But this time the app won’t whisk your senses away from a real-world experience. Instead, through scientifically designed soundscapes, it focuses them on the matter in hand. It can twist your taste buds from enjoying a rich savoury tomato drink to a mouth-tingling spicy cocktail within seconds.

The ‘Ketel One & Sonic’ app is a digital taste-enhancing experience that uses specially designed soundscapes to dial up different flavour notes of Ketel One’s signature cocktails. From the earthy notes of ginger in a Dutch Mule, to the umami rich tomato in the ubiquitous Bloody Mary.

The soundscapes were developed using research from an area of neuroscience called ‘cross-modal neuroscience’, a scientific discipline that focuses on the way in which our senses (or ‘modes’) are linked.

Sound and music affect our taste buds in two ways. Firstly, through conjuring up memories of a particular time and place, memories that carry emotions and other sensory triggers. For example, the sound of a lawnmower and birdsong will bring out fresh, grassy notes in a drink. Secondly, through hard-wired ‘cross-modal correspondences’. For example, high percussive instruments like piano or bells have been shown to bring out sweet flavours. The low raspy sound of a trombone will enhance bitter notes.

The Ketel & Sonic app was developed for bartenders and brand ambassadors to use at guided tastings and brand events; a way of helping the cocktail-drinking public explore the complexity of flavours in their drinks by actually experiencing them. Instead of searching for the caramel undertones in an espresso martini, the app makes them jump out – amplified by the sound. Then by switching to another sound or reverting back to silence, the taste balances out or changes again.

Want to find out about some other exciting projects we've worked on? Check out the case studies on our blog!

20th May 2018

Cider Serve: Give it a Swirl

In order to sell in the ‘cider over ice’ serve in emerging cider markets like Eastern Europe, we were asked to come up with an easy to scale pouring ritual, and related bar comms.

We first had to research and prove the cider over ice serve. Defining the reasons to believe. Creating a persuasive argument for why to serve the drinks that way.

And then we devised a simple ritual that engages the consumer with the drink and the ice.

(Rituals are proven to enhance consumption and perceived quality – but only when the consumer themselves performs the ritual).

As you pour the drink from the bottle, you begin to swirl the glass, spinning the ice. The liquid circulates around the ice, cooling it more quickly than if you just poured it still.

The swirling motion also creates more nucleation – so that the bubbles froth up and the enticing apple aromas are released.

We created a series of drink coasters promoting the serve, as well as other tools such as bartender scripts to sell in the serve.

Bartender RTB:

  1. “Swirling the glass cools the drink quickly, and makes the cider sparkle, releasing the apple aromas’
  2. “As you pour the cider, swirl the glass to make it fizz up and release the aroma as the bubbles burst, and circulate the cider around the ice to cool it quickly”
  3. “Swirl the glass as you pour the cider in. This circulates the cider around the ice so it cools quicker. And it increases the amount of bubbles that are activated, which carry the aroma compounds to the surface when they pop, releasing all the apple aromas”.

26th March 2018

The Boldest Glass

We created the world’s first sonically-enhanced drinking glass. It uses bone conduction to play a soundtrack inside a person’s head while they drink. The sound is designed to bring out the flavours of the drink.

We were asked to design a new glass for Johnnie Walker, to generate PR that would help land the new signature serve for Red label – Johnnie & Ginger. The goal was to push the boundaries of technology and sensory science. And do something cool.

Our response was The Boldest Glass.

A glass that, through bone conduction, plays the individual drinker a soundtrack that dials up the taste, increasing the spice and boldness of the drink.

Music in my head

After intense research and testing – and lots of ginger ale - we developed the tech, the design and the cross-modal soundtrack to make it work.

A tiny amp and radio receiver in the base of the glass picks up the audio and feeds it to an ‘exciter’ hidden under the brand label, in an indent in the hand-blown glass. The exciter turns the whole thing into a speaker. As you tip it up to take a sip, a tilt switch triggers the sound. When your lips are in contact with the glass, the sound travels along your jaw and you hear it in your head, as if you have headphones on – and no one else can hear it!

Transmitting the sound with radio, rather than having a player in the glass, meant we could make the base containing all the tech smaller. But it also meant we could beam anything we want to the glass. As well as having taste enhancing soundtracks, you could have your own personal DJ who plays a set that only you can hear through your glass.

The Boldest glass did a great job generating tons of coverage, PR and talkability.

Want to find out about some other exciting projects we've worked on? Check out the case studies on our blog!

6th September 2017

The Cider Box – It begins with an apple

Heineken asked us to devise an engagement tool to help introduce global markets to the natural wonders of cider. The current Heineken portfolio of Ciders includes Strongbow, Orchard Thieves, Old Mout and Bulmers. With the apple at it’s heart, we created the Cider Box.

The Cider Box is a three tiered tool that delivers a short immersive experience. Clients and customers learn about the origins and process of cider making. The varieties available. And then taste the product.

Lifting the lid triggers the sound of birdsong, and reveals an apple nestled in grass, an apple blossom aroma and an apple knife.
The inside of the lid shows a diagram of the cider making process. The Brand Ambassador cuts the apple and hands everyone a slice, while introducing the category.

Cider 1The second layer focuses on pomology and fermentation. Guests get to try the pure juices from different types of eating, cooking and bittersweet cider apples. They blend the juices themselves to get an idea of the craft the cider makers employ to create the finished product.

The bottom layers reveals 4 sample ciders for everyone to taste.

CIDER BOX

85 boxes were sent out around the globe for local markets to hit the streets with. Getting non-beer drinkers and beer drinkers alike to make the natural choice and switch to cider.

 

Feeling intrigued and want your brand to benefit from the power of a multisensory design approach? Contact us at listen@condimentjunkie.co.uk

13th March 2015

Tongue Twister – Westfield

Working with Westfield shopping centres to increase awareness of their in-centre food offer. We created the Tongue Twister installation that introduced people to the science of taste. The experience took place over 4 rooms, each focusing on a single sense and the role it has on our perception of taste.

tongue twister 2

A sensory cleanser set visitors up for the experience, as we performed a supertaster test on everyone.

Sound was explored as visitors ate foods while their chewing was amplified. Others listened to different soundtracks that changed how things taste. We had people matching music to flavours – capturing results on iPads to add to our knowledge.

The sight room challenged people to guess the flavour of drinks that had been dyed different colours. Apple juice made red was mostly thought to be Cherry. We used UV light to change food colour too.

food-yellowbutter-big

Aroma trumpets pumped out crazy scents while people ate jellybeans. Creating amazing taste and aroma combinations.

Tongue Twister was held at Stratford and White City Centres, and was visited by over 7,000 customers and resulted in a direct uplift of sales in the food court.

If our tongue twisting experience has left you wanting more, why not get in touch with us?

 

GET IN TOUCH

GET IN TOUCH

Intrigued? If you’d like to find out more about what we do and how we can work with you, please drop us an email or call us.

+44 (0) 203 6270 621
10 Marshalsea Road, London, SE1 1HL
russ@condimentjunkie.co.uk

Intrigued? If you’d like to find out more about what we do and how we can work with you, please drop us an email or call us.

+44 (0) 203 6270 621
10 Marshalsea Road, London, SE1 1HL
russ@condimentjunkie.co.uk

Intrigued? If you’d like to find out more about what we do and how we can work with you, please drop us an email or call us.

+44 (0) 203 6270 621
10 Marshalsea Road, London, SE1 1HL
russ@condimentjunkie.co.uk

Intrigued? If you’d like to find out more about what we do and how we can work with you, please drop us an email or call us.

+44 (0) 203 6270 621
10 Marshalsea Road, London, SE1 1HL
russ@condimentjunkie.co.uk