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

By Angela Doland. Published on Feb 13, 2017

Editor's Pick

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
Creative Planner:
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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