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Hi, I’m Kevin Coupe and this is FaceTime with the Content Guy.

Most retail environments pay close attention to visual impact in the store, and some - though I would argue, not nearly enough - supermarkets pay attention to smells and tastes. If something looks good and smells good and tastes good, the odds go up enormously that the shopper is going to buy it.

It doesn’t sound like rocket science, but to some food retailers, it might as well be.

The other day on National Public Radio, on a program called “Sound Check,” I heard a fascinating segment about the importance of sound on the food enjoyment experience - specifically, the impact that music can have on certain kinds of wine.

Forget the whole white wine with fish and red wine with meat discussion. There actually has been research done to suggest that, for example, a nice meaty Cabernet goes best with Beethoven.

They even did a test on the program’s host - giving him three different glasses of wine and playing with each one a certain kind of music - the Beach Boys, a flamenco, and Metallica. The wines actually seemed to reflect the musical choice ... which was interesting, because, in fact, the three glasses each contained the same wine, a Pinot Noir ... which ended up tasting different at least in part because of the soundtrack.

I find this fascinating. And I wonder how many retailers pay attention to the soundtrack of their stores. I mean really pay attention ... picking music that heightens the experience rather than serves as bland background noise, or features frequent interruptions to sell stuff. It may be that by customizing the music to the food and/or wine - especially in sampling situations - retailers might actually sell more than with those annoying verbal assaults.

It may mean working harder, because the music programmed for the frozen food department is going to have to be different from that done for fresh produce, or meat, or the wine department. But working harder - and paying more attention to the little things, even the things that we used to take for granted - is the price of survival and relevance in the 21st century retail environment.

You can listen to the “Sound Check” segment here.

That’s what’s on my mind this morning. As always, I want to hear what is on your mind.

KC's View: