A campaign has been launched to encourage consumers to take the time to taste their food after scientific research showed 79% of people were unable to identify even basic sandwiches and just 28% of a national poll admitted to savouring their food.
Busy, stressed workers are being encouraged to reawaken their taste buds
by a leading psychologist after 60% of the population admitted to
‘never’ or ‘rarely’ tasting what they ate – 1,000 people were polled.
The majority (42%) of British workers admitted to eating at their place
of work most days with just 13% leaving their place of work for lunch –
almost half (44%) described their lunch as ‘a means to an end’ to refuel
Incredibly, with Britain a multicultural melting pot of global cuisine,
awareness levels around food nutrition and healthy eating never higher,
and the widest range of great tasting food and flavours at the public’s
finger tips, it seems the ability to actually taste food is under
Food brand GLORIOUS! has launched the Flavour Map
– a global, online, crowdsourced resource – to inspire as well as
re-educate consumers about flavour and taste, as well as unearthing
little-known global flavours to launch for the UK market.
The scientific research into the UK’s lunchtime eating habits was commissioned by GLORIOUS! and led by Dr David Lewis with scientists at Mindlab.
Participants were able to only correctly identify 35% of ingredients and
most did not detect flavour swaps – 93% were unable to discern beef
from Chinese pork, 92% couldn’t tell ham from tuna, 82% could not detect
Quorn from chicken, while 78% could not distinguish pork from chicken.
Researchers found that, on average, 79% of people were unable to detect
when basic flavours had been swapped, this rose to 88% when people ate
whilst distracted, increasing to 93% for people eating under time
The interactive flavour map – www.gloriousfoods.co.uk/greatflavourmap
– a ‘Tripadvisor for taste’ allows the public to pin flavours ‘from
around the globe or around the corner’ such as meals, recipes, or
Dr David Lewis said:"The abundance of great flavours food experiences
have never been more diverse, yet our findings suggest consumers are
lazy when it comes to tasting and appreciating their food.
“I doubt there’s ever been such a rich tapestry of food and flavour
combinations at our disposal, yet we’re not savouring what we eat, which
is not just a shame but a genuine waste of taste.
“Our lunchtime habits in particular show that workers consume food as a
means to refuelling the body and most rarely, taste what they’re
“The GLORIOUS! Flavour Map campaign is helping to reawaken taste buds,
encouraging consumers to take time out to savour their food and inspire
new taste and flavour combinations.
“There’s so much fine produce, ingredients and meals available – from
budget to blow-out – that food should be an adventure, yet most
consumers are getting lost in the basics of taste exploration.”
A Dozen Top Tips To Wake Up Taste Buds:
1. Eat mindfully by truly focusing on what you are eating. Avoid distractions such as reading, watching TV etc.
2. Set aside time to enjoy the food without rushing. Leave at least 15
minutes for even a snack, a full meal should take 30 minutes of more.
3. Relax when you are eating. Do not keep glancing at your watch or thinking about all you have to do after the meal.
4. Chew the food carefully. Remember that chewing is the first stage of
digestion. An enzyme in the saliva starts the process by breaking down
the food morsels.
5. Take small mouthfuls. The larger what is termed the food ‘bolus’ the less effectively it is chewed and savoured.
6. Avoid talking while chewing. Not only does it prevent you paying full
attention to your food but also causes you to swallow air, leading to a
greater risk of embarrassing belches.
7. Efficient chewing not only allow you to savour the taste, aroma and
texture of the food but also enables the body to adsorb the nutrients
8. Avoid drinking too much while eating. Fluid not only distends the
stomach but also dilutes the digestive enzyme in the mouth and essential
acid in the stomach.
9. Do not over salt the food. Not only does it spoil the taste but, with some kinds of salt, risks increasing blood pressures.
10. Eat with your eyes as much as your mouth. Anticipating how the food
will taste not only adds to your enjoyment of the meal but also triggers
the release of enzymes so ensuring good digestion.
11. Leave the food in your mouth for enough time to experience all the
aroma. What we think of as taste is mostly smell. The tongue is only
receptive to basic tastes, such as sweet and sour, the rest of the
enjoyment comes from cells lining the nasal passages. Molecules of food
broken down by chewing take time to reach these cells, so slow down and
12. By enjoying the experience of eating you will not only enhance the
pleasure you derive from your food but also encourage a greater sense of
overall well-being. That old adage ‘you are what you eat’ is not quite
true. More accurately you are what you ingest and digest. Both these
processes work best when they are allowed to work slowly.
Source: The GLORIOUS! Flavour Map
Dr David Lewis continued: “Apart from denying ourselves the pleasure
that savouring tasty, well-cooked and presented food provides, there are
other negative consequences of what Dr Brian Wansink has termed
“Because we eat inattentively the food is often insufficiently and
inefficiently chewed. Mastication, the process in which the food in our
mouth is broken into smaller fragments and thoroughly mixed with saliva,
represents the first stage of digestion. Saliva contains a digestive
enzyme essential for the proper absorption of the meal. If this stage is
bypassed, as it typically is when consuming food inattentively, the
results can range from indigestion and heartburn to an inadequate uptake
of essential nutrients from the food.
“Poor mastication also means that we fail to savour and appreciate the
true taste and texture of the meal. What we regard as taste is, in fact,
mostly smell. As the food morsel is broken up in the mouth, molecules
are released which drift upwards to a sense organ known as the olfactory
epithelium. It is here that we recognise and enjoy the great taste of
“The tongue itself contains thousands of conical shaped receptors
sensitive to touch. It is these which convey the sense of texture that
adds so greatly to our enjoyment, provided they are allowed sufficient
time to do their work.
“Finally, rapid, ‘mindless’ eating means that the food goes ‘down’ so
rapidly that by the time the stomach signals to the brain that it has
‘had enough’ we have, in fact, overeaten. The consequence is that we add
unnecessary calories and so put on weight.”
• 59% of UK workers spend less than 15 minutes eating lunch
• 21% spend just 5-10 minutes eating lunch
• 60% admitted to ‘never’ or ‘rarely’ tasting what they eat
• 42% did not leave their desk during their lunch breaks
• 13% leave their place of work for lunch
• 44% described their lunches as a ‘means to an end’ and a way of keeping hunger at bay
• 20% described their lunches ‘really enjoyable’
• Participants in the scientific experiments correctly identify just 35% of ingredients
• On average, 79% of people were unable to detect when basic flavours had been swapped
• 88% were unable to detect swaps when eating while distracted
• 93% were unable to detect swaps when eating under time pressure
• In specific produce flavour swaps
o 93% were unable to discern beef from Chinese pork
o 92% couldn’t tell ham from tuna
o 82% could not detect Quorn from chicken
o 78% could not distinguish pork from chicken
Source: The GLORIOUS! Flavour Map
The GLORIOUS! product line includes a range of fresh, high quality
soups, stews and pasta sauces all developed within its A-Z of Global
*Find flavour inspiration at the GLORIOUS Flavour Map: www.gloriousfoods.co.uk/flavourmap