Getting started with virtual reality for sensory and consumer science: Current practices and future perspectives.

Published on May 12, 2021in Food Research International6.475
· DOI :10.1016/J.FOODRES.2021.110410
Qian Janice Wang17
Estimated H-index: 17
(AU: Aarhus University),
Francisco Barbosa Escobar3
Estimated H-index: 3
(AU: Aarhus University)
+ 1 AuthorsCarlos Velasco42
Estimated H-index: 42
(BI Norwegian Business School)
Abstract While virtual reality (VR) has become increasingly popular in food-related research, there has been a lack of clarity, precision, and guidelines regarding what exactly constitutes a virtual reality study, and the options available to the researcher for designing and implementing it. This review provides a practical guide for sensory and consumer scientists interested in exploring the emerging opportunities offered by VR. We take a deep dive into the components that make up a VR study, including hardware, software, and response measurement methods, all the while being grounded in immersion and presence theory. We then review how these building blocks are put together to create two major categories of research scenarios: product selection, which can be entirely created in VR, and food evaluation, which involve tasting products in real life. For each category, we review current literature with an eye on experiment design, and then highlight future avenues and technical development opportunities within sensory and consumer research. Finally, we evaluate limitations and ethical issues in VR food research, and offer future perspectives above and beyond ensuring ecological validity in product testing.
#1Han Wen (UNT: University of North Texas)H-Index: 10
#2Xi Y. Leung (UNT: University of North Texas)H-Index: 16
Abstract Applying the theory of embodied cognition as the research framework, the purpose of the current study was to explore the influence of virtual wine tours on young consumers' wine sensory experience and purchasing behaviors. A lab tasting experiment was conducted to compare the influence of a VR video with that of a traditional video featuring a vineyard and winery tour. Results indicated that the VR wine tour video evoked higher intentions to purchase and willingness to pay than the trad...
#2Olivia PetitH-Index: 12
Last. Carlos VelascoH-Index: 42
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With its origin-centric value proposition, the specialty coffee industry seeks to educate consumers about the value of the origin of coffee and how the relationship with farmers ensures quality and makes coffee a premium product. While the industry has widely used stories and visual cues to communicate this added value, research studying whether and how these efforts influence consumers' experiences is scarce. Through three experiments, we explored the effect of images that evoke the terroir of ...
Last. Peter GerjetsH-Index: 40
view all 5 authors...
: Approaching positive objects and avoiding negative ones are general action tendencies in human behavior. Interestingly, hand or arm positions connoting approach (arm flexion) or avoidance (arm extension) have also been shown to influence how the valence of a stimulus is evaluated. However, this causal effect on valence evaluation has been typically examined within experimental paradigms that do not require acting upon objects such as when touching or moving them. Accordingly, the current study...
#1Damir D. Torrico (University of Melbourne)H-Index: 13
#2Chetan Sharma (LU: Lincoln University (Pennsylvania))H-Index: 6
Last. Frank R. Dunshea (University of Leeds)H-Index: 65
view all 6 authors...
Abstract Eating is a multimodal sensory experience affected contextual situations. A limitation with traditional consumer testing is that isolated booth environments lack ecological validity and consumer's engagement in forming perceptions. Virtual reality (VR) is an emerging method to simulate different environmental contexts. The acceptability and emotional responses of full- and no-sugar chocolate determined in sensory booths and under two VR environments (headsets) were evaluated. Untrained ...
#1Jianping Huang (Soochow University (Suzhou))H-Index: 5
#2Ping Zhao (THU: Tsinghua University)H-Index: 1
Last. Xiaoang Wan (THU: Tsinghua University)H-Index: 17
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Abstract When consumers are searching for a packaged food with a certain flavor label, they are slower and less accurate when the target’s packaging color and flavor label are incongruent than when they are congruent. Here, we conducted a combined virtual reality (VR) and resting-state fMRI study to investigate the spontaneous neural basis of individual differences in this color–flavor incongruency effect. Our results revealed a positive correlation between the behavioral effect and the local sy...
#1Carlos Flavián (University of Zaragoza)H-Index: 49
#2Sergio Ibáñez-Sánchez (University of Zaragoza)H-Index: 9
Last. Carlos Orús (University of Zaragoza)H-Index: 15
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Abstract We live in a multisensory world. Our experiences are constructed by the stimulation of all our senses. Nevertheless, digital interactions are mainly based on audiovisual elements, while other sensory stimuli have been less explored. Virtual reality (VR) is a sensory-enabling technology that facilitates the integration of sensory inputs to enhance multisensory digital experiences. This study analyzes how the addition of ambient scent to a VR experience affects digital pre-experiences in ...
In this manuscript, we describe a new approach to study the effect of the eating environment on food intake and eating behavior using virtual reality technology. Fifteen adults consumed pizza rolls in two virtual reality (VR) environments: a restaurant and a table in an empty room. The participants’ food intake, eating parameters (e.g., masticatory parameters and eating rate), and their sensory evaluation of the test food was measured. The participants’ sense of presence (the feeling of being in...
#1Maëlle-Ahou Gouton (Université Paris-Saclay)H-Index: 1
#2Catherine Dacremont (CNRS: Centre national de la recherche scientifique)H-Index: 5
Last. David Blumenthal (Université Paris-Saclay)H-Index: 12
view all 4 authors...
Abstract This study aimed to test the validity of visual representations of food products in virtual reality by comparing descriptions of a set of actual vs. virtual cookies. This validation is key to future applications of virtual reality in sensory studies. Ten commercial cookies were virtualized by photogrammetry then configured inside virtual sensory booths designed using Unity and presented via a first-version HTC Vive virtual reality headset. Flash profiling was used to determine changes i...
#1Chengyan XuH-Index: 1
Last. Michael SiegristH-Index: 90
view all 5 authors...
Abstract The comparability or similarity of consumers’ behavior in virtual reality (VR) and in real life (RL) is indispensable to successfully take advantage of VR technology in consumer behavior (CB) research. This study investigated the comparability of participants’ behavior in a virtual environment and in RL to validate VR for data acquisition in CB research. Participants (N = 98) were randomly assigned to a RL condition or a VR condition in which the settings were chosen to mimic a RL envir...
Choice experiments have been extensively used in many stated preference studies and disciplines. In order to give external validity to stated preferences, participants must behave the same in an experiment setting as they do in reality. The difference between a decision made in a real experiment and a hypothetical experiment is commonly attributed to “hypothetical bias.” In this paper, we investigate whether virtual reality can reduce hypothetical bias in choice experiments. We conducted a set o...
Cited By2
#1Julia Y. Q. Low (Massey University)H-Index: 7
#2Charles Diako (Massey University)H-Index: 9
Last. Joanne Hort (Massey University)H-Index: 30
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Abstract null null Sensory evaluation for the investigation of food consumption is often conducted in a controlled laboratory environment, which does not reflect consumption behaviour in real world. Here, we compared the effect of consumption setting (traditional sensory booth, mixed reality projection cafe, and a cafe) on consumer affective responses, and to investigate the effectiveness of using Microsoft HoloLens technology, an Augmented Mixed Reality device, as an ecologically valid alternat...
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