Can music change the taste of chocolate?

This question has aroused curiosity, amongst others, because it has to do with an element we consider essential when designing a product and brand: Experience.

At Luker Chocolate, when we design products for our customers or hand in hand with them, we approach Design Thinking to be as accurate as possible, so what we are designing and eventually producing, be relevant in the life of the customers we are trying to reach. In such an effort of designing and building leading brands, understanding the consumer needs becomes a must, but it is also necessary to understand how we can make of this a unique and unforgettable experience. Designing experience is fascinating and challenging because options are as extensive as creativity can be. Many few brands effectively achieve this. At Luker Chocolate, we believe that one crucial asset with great potential for designing an experience around a product, is music.

It is well known that chocolate has excellent benefits for health; however, it´s exceptional reputation throughout history has been around indulgence. Taste and smell are the senses that come to our minds when thinking of chocolate melting on ice-cream, a hot cup of chocolate for breakfast or when walking by our local bakery feeling the smell of chocolate bread freshly baked. But what happens with the other senses? Do sight, touch and hearing have any effect on the way we perceive and enjoy chocolate? Are there any other senses we don’t know of, that can boost the chocolate experience? We believe there must be, but for now, we will only focus on hearing.

An experiment was carried out a few years ago with our panel of expert tasters, a group of professionals perfectly trained to identify the tiniest variation in chocolate flavor. This group of experts, whose sense of taste is highly developed, perform thousands of tastings all year round to guarantee that the consistency and quality of the products we deliver are always the same. The experiment consisted of having them try two types of chocolate so that they could describe the differences they found between them. Little did they know both samples were the same. The only variable modified was sound: one of the samples was tasted in a quiet environment whereas the other played classical music as background. The group of experts pointed out essential differences in flavor as music affected their perception indeed.

Even though this experiment was not statistically relevant or had a rigorous approach from the scientific point of view, it aroused our curiosity about the relation between sound and chocolate. In terms of the consumption experience, we have multiple paths, ideas and innovation platforms to be developed around music.  However, we have decided to go further and wonder: Can music influence a cocoa tree? Can music influence blooming and production? Could a cocoa pod that grows with music since the very blooming stage generate a different flavor of cocoa and then in chocolate?

After revising similar experiments in vineyards and other industries, and despite these questions have been disregarded as absurd by many others, for a few months now at Granja Luker, our cocoa research center, is growing a whole piece of land with cocoa trees with music and another one without it. This will allow us to establish differences in cocoa development at the end of the experiment. Every day these trees are exposed to music for several hours and monitored regularly. The experiment will last for an entire cycle, from the blooming stage to the harvest stage (6 months).

Could Mozart and other classical composers have some effect on chocolate? In a few months from now, we will tell you the answer.

If you are interested in this topic or know of someone who has carried out similar experiments and has gathered knowledge through them and above everything is willing to share this knowledge with us, please contact us at:

smgaleano@lukerchocolate.com

This is a video of what our experiment looks like so far!

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