March 22, 2011


According to Knorr, the largest brand of Uniliver, good food matters. True to its objective, Knorr captured the taste buds of Filipino family with their Knorr cubes, flavor mixes and instant soups. The most successful campaign of Knorr came into life last 2007, revolutionizing sinabawang gulay as an enjoyable meal for children.

Vegetable consumption among children is normally unpopular. As opposed to the crispy fried chicken, savory barbecue or juicy hotdogs, sinabawang gulay is unlikely a choice for a typical home packed lunch. Vegetable taste is commonly associated with bitter taste and scientists have long presumed that bitter taste evolved as a defense mechanism to detect possibly harmful toxins in plants. And the research, published in the September 19 issue of the journal Current Biology (Vol. 16, R792-R794), claims to be the first paper to provide direct evidence in support of this hypothesis (Daniells, 2006).

Lead researcher Paul Breslin remarked that the sense of taste enables us to detect bitter toxins within foods, and genetically-based differences in our bitter taste receptors affect how each perceived foods containing a particular set of toxins.

Bahay kubo vegetables can be noted as the most popular vegetables found in the Philippine market. Okra, ampalaya, pechay, sigarilyas, bataw, patani and other green leafy vegetables are among the least like.
The researchers established thatTAS2R38 can detect glucosinolates, a class compounds with potentially harmful physiological actions, in natural foods. Brocolli, watercress, bok choy, kale, turnip and other American-raised vegetables are confirmed to be glucosinolate- containing vegetables. Many of these vegetables are recorded to be high in nutritional value and contain cancer fighting compounds. However, studies have shown that many people are falling short of their fruit and vegetable quota, perhaps due to dislike of certain vegetables. 35 healthy adults were selected and classified according to their hTAS2R38 bitter taste receptor genotype: PAV/PAV (sensitive to the bitter-tasting chemical PTC), AVI/AVI (insensitive), and PAV/AVI (intermediate). The participants were then asked to rate the bitterness of different vegetables, some glucosinolate-containing, other were non-glucosinolate-containing. According to results, vegetable resistance is due to the bitterness receptors in our taste buds heavily contributed by our genes and experiments confirmed that bitterness is evident in high glucosinolate-containing vegetables (Daniells, 2006).
Knorr, as part of their nationwide advertising campaign for their KNORR pork and shrimp cubes, tried to expand their target market to the top non vegetable eaters- the pre-schoolers and elementary students. They experimented on the children’s sense modalities. The campaign was popularized by their colorful and visually stunning advertisement with a catchy novelty jingle Makulay ang Buhay. The power of advertising blue-penciled through senses, capturing the visual and auditory senses.

The campaign got notable attention, having almost 300,000 + views and product sales propelled into high monthly average.

Danielle, S. (2006). Dislike of Veggies in Genes. Food Navigator-USA. Retrieved at, updated September 26,2006.

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