Searching for the sound of premium beer
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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- Scientific articles 
Original versionFood Quality and Preference. 2021, 88 (March 104088) 10.1016/j.foodqual.2020.104088
One common definition of premiumness is as a higher quality and more expensive variant of a product than other members of the category or reference class. Premiumness can effectively be conveyed by means of different sensory cues (e.g., colours, sounds, weight). However, to date, research linking the sound of a product’s packaging with premiumness is sparse. In the present study, we demonstrate for the first time that consumers associate different levels of beer premiumness with the sounds of opening and pouring of bottles and cans. We report the results of two online experiments. Experiment 1 explored the effect of two sound properties associated with beer can and bottle opening and pouring (sound pressure and frequency) on the perception of premiumness. Experiment 2 used semantic differential scales (e.g., bad-good, passive-active) to evaluate the meanings people tend to associate with different auditory cues. The analyses revealed that participants perceived: 1) bottle sounds to be more premium overall than can sounds, 2) pouring sounds as more premium than opening sounds, and 3) higher pressure sounds as more premium than lower pressure sounds. Additionally, premiumness was positively correlated with semantic differentials of dead-alive, and the evaluative terms of sad-happy, awful-nice, and bad-good, which highlights the perceived quality and premium character of a beer when conveyed auditorily.