A Cafe in China Made Beverages Taste Sweeter By Changing the Audio Soundtrack

It's an Offbeat Way of Making People Think About Their Sugar Consumption

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Scientists at Oxford University have been studying whether listening to different music can change the way your food tastes. Listening to higher-pitched musical notes, for example, is believed to make people perceive foods as sweeter.

Beijing Dentsu's Shanghai office put that idea to the test in a campaign for Xin Cafe, a local cafe and creative space, as a way to make people in China think about overconsumption of sugar. Obesity is becoming a major issue in China, thanks to Western-style fast food and sugary drinks. A study published last year found that one out of six Chinese boys and one in 11 girls were obese.

The agency had sound designers come up with a soundtrack of higher-pitched tinkly sounds and embedded a player into the base of a cup. They called the soundtrack the "sonic sweetener." People could plug their headphones into the cup and listen while they sipped.

About 63% of cafe goers said their drinks tasted sweeter. The same music is available on the web here, so people can try it at home.

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Feb 13, 2017
Dentsu Beijing
Xin Cafe
Executive Creative Director:
Kazuki Tsuburaku
Creative Director:
Takamori Kadoi
Art Director:
Atsushi Fujimaki
Takamori Kadoi
Si Tan
Takamori Kadoi
Taiki Soma
Technical Advisor:
Qian Wang
Product and Web:
Imgsrc Shanghai
Product Designer:
Yuki Zetsu
Product Designer:
Kazuya Otsuka
Shinji Takahashi
Ryuta Ohara
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