There has been a great deal of research investigating intrinsic/extrinsic cues and their influences on consumer perception and purchasing decisions at points of sale, product usage, and consumption. Consumers create expectations toward a food product through sensory information extracted from its surface (intrinsic cues) or packaging (extrinsic cues) at retail stores. Packaging is one of the important extrinsic cues that can modulate consumer perception, liking, and decision making of a product. For example, handling a product packaging during consumption, even just touching the packaging while opening or holding it during consumption, may result in a consumer expectation of the package content. Although hand-feel touch cues are an integral part of the food consumption experience, as can be observed in such an instance, little has been known about their influences on consumer perception, acceptability, and purchase behavior of food products. This review therefore provided a better understanding about hand-feel touch cues and their influences in the context of food and beverage experience with a focus on (1) an overview of touch as a sensory modality, (2) factors influencing hand-feel perception, (3) influences of hand-feel touch cues on the perception of other sensory modalities, and (4) the effects of hand-feel touch cues on emotional responses and purchase behavior.
Keywords: consumer behavior; cross-modal correspondence; emotional response; hand-feel touch; haptics; packaging; sensory perception; tactile.