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Meet the Grantee: Felipe Reinoso-Carvalho

The Sound of Chocolate – A Research Cooperation on Tasting Experiences

Our grantee Dr Felipe Reinoso-Carvalho from Bogotá, Colombia, and his UBT host Prof. Christian Claas Germelmann explored the particular role of sound in the behaviour of consumers while experiencing foods or drinks. An interesting aspect of the cooperation was the cross-cultural approach that made it possible to compare consumer experiences from Europe and Latin-America.

Dr Reinoso-Carvalho

What are the foci of your joint research funded by the Short Term Grant?

Our project is entitled: "Sonic seasoning: Rethinking tasting experiences through music". Gastronomy and the food industry are aware of the role of most senses in the experience of foods/drinks. For example, when experiencing a chocolate, we appreciate its shape, color, while tasting it under sensations commonly elicited by its texture and smell. Interestingly, recent evidence also suggests that what we hear can significantly affect tasting experiences, whether we realize it or not. I am an expert in this topic. Together with the colleagues of marketing at Universität Bayreuth we are focusing on creating synergies, while we continue exploring, from a scientific perspective, the particular role of sound in the behaviour of consumers while experiencing foods/drinks. In particular, we would like to seek new ways to disentangle how the different auditory attributes, and consequent sensations/emotions elicited by such sounds, can generate specific reactions in listeners while eating/drinking. We are also looking for ways to expand this approach beyond the food industry (i.e., e-commerce).

In what way is your work interdisciplinary, and what does interdisciplinarity mean to you in academic work and life?

The very nature of this research is interdisciplinary. For instance, in our studies, we recycle methodologies from experimental psychology (i.e., psychophysics) and sensory sciences, while designing our protocols. We also use deep knowledge from psychoacoustics while developing our auditory stimuli. More importantly, while envisioning and discussing the contributions of our ideas (either theoretical or practical ones), we always look into marketing.

What is in your opinion the future of your field and in what way can research in your field contribute to meeting the urgent challenges of our time?

Such knowledge can be of great use, for instance, in order to modulate behavioral aspects related to consumer well-being. Such insights could be based on, let’s say, promoting healthier dietary habits by adopting sonic seasoning techniques.
Moreover, as technology advances in our daily lives, I believe that there is a lot to uncover concerning the role of our senses in digital/virtual environments.
On top of that, it is of our greatest interest to discuss our research in the light of the multi-cultural background that we are able to build during our international collaboration. As a team we are able to conduct cross-cultural studies, where we would better understand, for example, how the obtained findings replicate (or not) across Europe and Latin-America. Like this, our research can aim at a more global impact.

What does international research mobility mean to you?

Well, for me international research mobility is something very positive! It means to learn and share practices, while also building strong relationships. Humans like to move since the early ages, and this is one of the reasons why I believe that we are such a different species.
The challenge now is to learn how to move and share in a more sustainable and responsible fashion.
When I cooperate with international peers, I also try to exercise my self-knowledge, and self-consciousness, while opening myself to learn without prejudices.

How did the current challenges influence your cooperation?

On the one hand, I believe that cooperation at the moment has the advantage of digital interactions, which means that we do not need to move offline to work and create together. On the other hand, however, I feel that, due to the same digitalization aspects, we are overloaded with work, and that the challenge now is to look for greater balance between work and the rest of things that make life great. :-)

The Grantee

Felipe Reinoso-Carvalho, PhD, is associate professor in marketing at Universidad de los Andes School of Management in Bogotá, Colombia. His research is mainly about multisensory marketing and experience design through the senses. Since 2021 he is the director of the MsC in Supply Chain Management of the aforementioned school. At the moment he also holds invited scholar positions at IAE Angers (France). In the past he had visiting scholar positions at KU Leuven (Belgium) and at the University of Bayreuth (Germany).
Besides being an academic, Felipe often collaborates with the private and public sector through consultancy. His research has been highlighted more than once by the global press, such as The Guardian, Washington Post, BBC Focus and Vice.

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