UK Flavour Day 2019
The UK Flavour industry gathered on Friday 29 November to celebrate the second UK Flavour Day. Part of the European Flavour Association’s initiative, the Flavour Day event series brings together policy makers, customers and food and drink associations for discussions about the future of food and the role that flavourings plays in key consumer trends.
The UK Flavour Day took place at the Wellcome Collection, London, and saw over 70 delegates from some of the many flavour companies across the country.
- Professor Charles Spence, Head of the Crossmodal Research Laboratory at the Department of Experimental Psychology, Oxford University
- Dr. Qian Yang, Assistant Professor in Sensory and Consumer Sciences at the University of Nottingham
- Professor Moira Dean, Professor in Consumer Psychology and Food Security at Queen’s University, Belfast
- Lizzie Ostrom, otherwise known as ‘Odette Toilette’
- Jimena Gómez de la Flor, Communications Director for EFFA.
This year’s UK Flavour Day was split into two key themes: ‘taste and perception’, hosted by Association Chairman, James Smith, and ‘the unmistakeable difference’, hosted by Antoine Kastler, President of EFFA.
The key themes discussed on the day included flavour and sensory perception – the flavours one person tastes could be very different to those detected by someone else. Is that down to the way that the flavours are combined in food (through pairing, blending or fusion, among others), as highlighted by Professor Spence, or could it be due to the fact that we have over 400 olfactory receptors that affect the way we taste, as discussed during Dr. Qian Yang’s presentation? Professor Spence suggested that understanding and predicting how various flavour combinations will be perceived or interpreted could be more a matter of psychology than chemistry.
Another interesting topic was raised by Professor Moira Dean, who discussed consumer preferences for natural food – perceptions, beliefs and how (or if!) it’s possible to change them. Professor Dean also introduced some of the Institute for Global Food Security’s work in food fraud and communicating transparency across the food chain.
Next up was Lizzie Ostrom, who called on flavour companies to help put the fun back into food. She united the audience in a shared love for classic crisps including Monster Munch and Skips, referring to them as ‘cultural artefacts’ and celebrating the artistry that goes into the development of such snacks.
Jimena Gomez de la Flor closed the day talking about the importance of communicating about flavour to demystify the industry, build trust and inspire the sense of taste. She showcased some of the creative work that EFFA has produced over the past twelve months, including several animation videos and the very successful Flavour Ambassador campaign.
The 2019 UK Flavour Day reinforced the importance of taking time out from our everyday working lives occasionally to look to the future of flavours. We would like to thank everyone who celebrated the second #UKFlavourDay with us, and we look forward to the next. Keep an eye on EFFA’s website to see more details about next year’s Paris Flavour Day and the other events planned.