How to Taylors’ brand values contribute to extraordinary flavour

Professor Aaron Meskin

School of Philosophy, Religion and History of Science

Responsive Mode Impact Fund

Does ethical information about a product influence how you expect it to taste or how you perceive it?  How does a company’s branding contribute to your experience of its product?

An interdisciplinary team, from psychology, philosophy and marketing, are collaborating with Taylors, to explore the relationship between the ethics and aesthetics of food, and what this means in the eyes – and on the tongues – of consumers. How might the ‘extraordinary flavour’ of Taylors’ coffee be affected by knowledge of the company’s sustainable and environmentally responsible values?  Does Taylors’ work with Rainforest Foundation UK mean its coffee tastes richer?  Does its responsible sourcing lend a more distinctive flavour?

This partnership builds on existing research which has demonstrated that ethical information can influence consumer expectations and experience of a product (Meskin, Birtill & Armstrong, in preparation).

The interdisciplinary team will transport this novel approach to the relationship between food and values from the laboratory into a celebrated regional business. We will demonstrate how ethical information can be included in marketing communications to improve the consumer experience of Taylors products. Understanding the interplay of flavour and values could further catalyse sustainable practices across the food and drink industry.