Yamen Koubaa

This paper describes a study that tests for the enhancement of low-sugar pastry via olfaction and examines its effects on pastry consumption. Olfactory taste enhancement preserves the nutritional benefits of low-sugar pastry while retaining the pleasure of full-sugar pastry. Willingness to reduce sugar intake and eat healthily is stronger today than at any time before in western societies, and low-sugar pastry can be effective in reducing sugar intake among consumers in these markets. The challenge, however, is that consumers’ liking of pastry is driven by the sweet taste pastry eating procures; reducing pastry sugar content makes it healthier but probably less tasty and thus of a low market acceptability. Results from laboratory experiments show that smelling clearly perceivable sugar-associated odour significantly enhances perceived sweetness and pleasantness, and leads to the higher consumption of low-sugar pastry. These findings have implications for pastry makers and retailers as well as for social marketers. Odour-induced taste enhancement enables food makers and retailers to achieve the goals of selling both tasty and healthy pastry. It can be also a vector to promoting healthy pastry by converting the ‘healthy = untasty’ attitude into a ‘healthy and tasty’ attitude.

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