Ever wanted to impress your guests with expensive wine when you have only provided cheap plonk?
Well it turns out there is one very simple way to do so: simply tell them that the wine they are drinking is more expensive than it is.
Consumers will enjoy products, such as wine, chocolate and milkshakes, more if they are told they are more expensive, according to researchers at the University of Bonn in Germany and the INSEAD Business School.
Study participants were told they would try five different wines priced at £55, £28, £22, £6 and £3. However, they only actually consumed three different wines at two different prices.
As well as rating the wine, the participants had their brains scanned while drinking. Both of these measurements showed a strong placebo effect in operation with the brain reacting in a similar way to the “expensive” wines.
This effect was more pronounced in people who were more analytical and were therefore likely to be more reliant on marketing cues. It also affected those with a strong reward seeking drive who would “anticipate a specifically indulgent consumption experience”.