Did you know that performing a little ritual before eating something can actually make the food taste better?
Food rituals? Sounds a little strange, right? But if you think about it, I'm sure you're already practicing several "food rituals". For example, you probably sing "Happy Birthday" before cutting cake, swirl your glass and take a big sniff before sipping red wine, or ever so carefully toast a marshmallow golden brown before constructing a s'more.
In an article titled "Singing 'Happy Birthday' Makes the Cake Taste Better", Melissa Dahl reported on a recent study exploring the effects of food rituals. Apparently, when you perform a food ritual, you become more mindful of the experience and enjoy the meal/drink/snack more than you would have if you had simply dived in.
In one experiment of the study, researchers gave 52 participants a chocolate bar. Half of them were told to break and unwrap the bar in a specific way before they were allowed to take a bite. The others were permitted to eat it normally. Can you guess which group liked the taste of the chocolate more and were even willing to pay more for it? Yep, the ritual-performers.
---The reason why we enjoy food and drink more when we go through a system of rites first appears to be that we like to feel more involved in what we’re consuming. "Rituals seem to improve the consumption experience because they lead to greater involvement and interest," the authors write in the paper published this month in the journal Psychological Science. "When people perform a ritual, their intrinsic interest increases, which in turn leads to more enjoyable consumption."---
So, why all this talk about food rituals on a promotional products blog? Well, we assist our clients with edible promotions fairly regularly, and we love the idea of applying this concept to a promotional food gift.
If performing a ritual before eating something creates a more memorable experience for the eater, it follows that you'll get a better return on your investment with a food gift if you incorporate some type of fun task for the recipient.
How to do this? Here are a few examples that come to mind:
Send a gift of custom-dipped fortune cookies. You can even customize the enclosed paper fortune for added personality. The recipient will be forced to perform the mini ritual of breaking apart the cookie to retrieve their fortune, creating a more memorable and enjoyable experience.
If you are sending food towers to an office or group this holiday season, create a challenge to make it more memorable for everyone involved. Include a card that asks the recipient to guess what is in each box before opening. Whoever gets it right claims the first piece!
We're pretty Oreo-obsessed at Sonic Promos. I might even say they're our office's second favorite cookie (first place goes to the Bean Bag's soft chocolate chip and oatmeal raisin discs of heaven).
A lot of people already practice food rituals when it comes to the Oreo. Some have to dunk them in milk. Other have to separate the wafers and eat the cream first.
For a fun and memorable gift idea, send your client a box of dipped Oreo cookies, a branded milk glass, and a card detailing step-by-step instructions for perfect Oreo consumption. After all of that, they'll remember your name for sure!