Round Food (09-02-21)

Zhou, Chen, and Liconducted intriguing shape-related research; studies replicating their findings in other than the tested contexts will be useful. The researchers report that “Despite being a fundamental food feature, the effect of food shapes has been underexplored. This study demonstrates that giving hedonic [pleasure-related] foods a round shape increases their desirability, choice probability, and consumption. However, this effect does not apply to utilitarian foods. Such asymmetric effects are attributed to the positive affect [emotion] elicited by a round shape and not to the food's shape typicality, food knowledge, vividness, or fragility. . . . the effectiveness of giving hedonic foods a round shape is attenuated [weakened] by consumers' health motivations; that is, the effect holds only for those with low health motivation.”

Shoujiang Zhou, Siwen Chen, and Shan Li.  “The Shape Effect:  Round Shapes Increase Consumers’ Preference for Hedonic Goods.”  Psychology and Marketing, in press, https://doi.org/10.1002/mar.21547