Visualizing Taste: How Business Changed the Look of What You Eat

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Product Details

Harvard University Press
Publish Date
5.7 X 8.3 X 1.1 inches | 1.25 pounds

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About the Author

Ai Hisano is Senior Lecturer at the Graduate School of Economics at Kyoto University, Japan. Winner of the Wilbur Owen Sypherd Prize, Hisano has been Newcomen Postdoctoral Fellow in Business History at Harvard Business School. She has published on the food-coloring business, the development of transparent packaging, and gender politics and food marketing.


Richly textured and full of colorful characters, Ai Hisano's Visualizing Taste shows us that what many consider 'natural' about food is in fact historically and culturally constructed. This book highlights how central the history of the senses is to the development of capitalism and modern consumption. Original, fascinating, and eye-opening.--Daniel Horowitz, author of Happier? The History of a Cultural Movement That Aspired to Transform America
An intriguing analysis that establishes food color as a critical example of how twentieth-century business strategies deployed the human senses. Visualizing Taste makes us think about what color means, to producers and to consumers.--Susan Strasser, author of Satisfaction Guaranteed: The Making of the American Mass Market
Seeing is believing, right? Not so fast. In this nuanced and highly original history of the 'capitalism of the senses, ' Ai Hisano shows how the American food industry taught consumers to associate particular food colors with freshness, authenticity, and safety. In colonizing perception to suit business needs, food marketers radically changed the way we think about nature, health, beauty, and truth itself.--Warren Belasco, author of Appetite for Change: How the Counterculture Took On the Food Industry
Visualizing Taste makes a major contribution to business history and the history of the senses by investigating the multiple factors, including government regulation, that have shaped the visual presentation of today's comestibles. Through Ai Hisano's critical interrogation of the color code, this book will refresh your palate.--David Howes, Concordia University
Hisano's book provides a compelling historical perspective on contemporary debates on sensory marketing and branding.--John Quelch, Miami Business School