Smag på ord: Kan det sensoriske sprogbrug på danske fødevareemballager gøres mere nuanceret?

Sara Emanuela Saltari

Student thesis: Master thesis

Abstract

This thesis aims to investigate the sensory language on contemporary Danish food packaging, and to find solutions that can communicate a food product’s sensory properties to in-store consumers. In order to do so this paper sets up a comparative study between Danish and Italian food packaging examining the use of sensory language in both countries.
According to scientists from different scientific fields there is a need for more explicit verbal sensory cues on food packaging in general. Nowadays buying decisions seem to have become more complicated because food is hidden behind the packaging itself, thereby not allowing the consumer to touch, smell or taste the food item. Therefore, it is of paramount importance that modern packaging is able to fill this sensory void and is able to convey the sensory properties of the food item in question through verbal means of communication.
The first part of the thesis sets out to define, classify and examine the potential of sensory verbal cues combining four scientific fields: marketing, field of sensory analysis, neuromarketing and linguistics. After having developed a specific classification named Sensory semantics to apply on sensory cues, the thesis sets out to define the main differences between Danish and Italian food labels. The study includes a total 362 food labels, of which 169 are Danish and 193 are Italian, across 10 categories and 25 sub-categories. The data has been extracted from the three biggest online supermarkets in both countries. The Danish food labels are from Coop, Nemlig and Osuma whilst the Italian food labels are from Carrefour, Supermercato24 and Tigros. The total amount of brands is 44 for Danish products and 48 for Italian products.
The findings from the comparative study show considerable differences in how sensory descriptions are communicated to the Italian and Danish consumers in grocery retail stores. Danish packaging labels focus mainly on one sense at the time and use only established words. Italian packaging labels on the other hand
involve more senses and use neologisms and metaphors to convey a product’s sensory profile. The data also show that Italian labels tend to exploit the potential of sensory language by including different types of sensory cues across the above-mentioned classification of sensory cues.
This thesis suggests that Danish descriptions on food packaging can become more explicit in communicating sensory properties of a product. This can be achieved by applying more creative and varied solutions through the use of sensory language such as metaphors, new words, sound symbolism, meta sensory expressions. This would further develop the sensory vocabulary used by Danish consumers which in term will contribute to products of higher quality.

EducationsMA in International Business Communication (Intercultural Marketing), (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
LanguageDanish
Publication date2017
Number of pages84
SupervisorsViktor Smith