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消費心理學:持久流行的南瓜風味食品

放大字體  縮小字體 發布日期:2014-10-15  來源:食品翻譯中心  瀏覽次數:463
核心提示:南瓜風味食品與萬圣節糖果十分類似。兩者都預示著秋天的來臨,而且隨著它們一年比一年早地出現,仿佛連傳統的季節劃分都要為之改變。
 Pumpkin spice is a lot like Halloween candy. Both are harbingers of fall, and both seem to push the appropriate seasonal boundaries by popping up earlier and earlier every year.
南瓜風味食品與萬圣節糖果十分類似。兩者都預示著秋天的來臨,而且隨著它們一年比一年早地出現,仿佛連傳統的季節劃分都要為之改變。
But unlike other food fads—two well-documented examples are cronuts and cake pops—pumpkin spice has endured. This is the 11th year that the Pumpkin Spice Latte (the PSL, in the parlance of aficionados) has graced the menu at Starbucks . With more than 200 million PSLs sold, it’s the company’s most popular seasonal beverage. Rival coffee purveyor Dunkin’ Donuts has more than a half dozen pumpkin-flavored items on the menu this year. The company says it spends time strategizing how it can ramp up the “pumpkin-osity” of its offerings.
不過與其他的飲食風尚不同——典型的例子如可頌甜甜圈和棒棒糖蛋糕——南瓜風味食品的熱度十分持久。星巴克(Starbucks)推出南瓜拿鐵(Pumpkin Spice Latte,被狂熱的愛好者稱為PSL)至今已有11年,該產品已經售出超過200萬份,是該公司最為流行的季節性飲料。星巴克的競爭對手,咖啡供應商唐恩都樂(Dunkin’ Donuts)也在今年推出了超過6款南瓜風味咖啡。唐恩都樂表示,他們花了不少時間來研究如何提高產品的“南瓜特色”。
As most consumers are well aware, we are not speaking merely of coffee. Just about anything that can have a pumpkin variety now does, or soon will: Oreos, Milano cookies, M&Ms, yogurt, marshmallows, gum, oatmeal, Eggo waffles. There was even buzz last week, which turned out to be a hoax, about a pumpkin spice condom. The fact that this fake news gained so much traction is a sign of how sexy the subject has become.
大多數顧客都非常清楚,我們說的不只是咖啡,還包括任何已經有、或者很快就會有南瓜風味的產品:奧利奧(Oreos)、蜜蘭諾(Milano)小甜餅、M&M巧克力豆、酸奶、棉花糖、口香糖、燕麥片、Eggo華夫餅。上周甚至還有傳聞說南瓜味的避孕套即將上市,不過最后證明這是個惡作劇。這個假新聞之所以會吸引如此多的關注,也說明了南瓜題材已經變得多么誘人。
Or perhaps it was an ironic commentary on the ubiquity of a once-humble member of the squash and melon family. Indeed, some have begun to complain of pumpkin spice fatigue (let’s call it PSF) out of one side of their mouths—but data on eating habits suggest they’re still sipping PSLs out of the other. Since 2006, industry tracker Mintel has found that pumpkin as a beverage ingredient has grown 130% on U.S. menus. Since 2004 the use of pumpkin as a flavor in food on menus has increased ten-fold.
也可以說,這則新聞是在諷刺這個曾經默默無聞,現在卻無處不在的瓜類家族成員。確實,已經有人開始抱怨自己患上了南瓜風味疲勞癥(權且稱其為PSF)。但另一方面,飲食習慣的調查數據顯示,他們仍然在喝南瓜拿鐵。行業追蹤機構英敏特(Mintel)發現,自2006年起,在美國人的菜單上,擁有南瓜成分的飲料數量增加了130%。而自2004年起,南瓜風味食物在菜單上的數量已經增加了10倍之多。
So what’s driving the flavor to these new heights? Fortune decided to investigate the consumer psychology behind pumpkin spice.
到底是什么讓南瓜風味如此勢不可擋?《財富》(Fortune)決定探究這一現象背后的消費心理學。
Both Starbucks and Dunkin’ Donuts executives point to the seasonality and nostalgia evoked by the flavor. “It’s a beverage that captures the essence of fall,” says Peter Dukes, who led the PSL’s development as a Starbucks product manager. His colleague Cliff Burrows, group president of the U.S., Americas, and Teavana, thinks its success is linked to the combination of the return to school after the long summer holiday and the closure of the season with Labor Day. “There’s something about that whole turning point, which is so significant,” he says. “It’s a nice way to turn the corner on the year.”
星巴克和唐恩都樂的高管都指出,這種風味能喚起季節感與懷舊之情。南瓜拿鐵研發負責人,星巴克產品經理彼得•杜克斯表示:“這種飲料捕捉到了秋天的真味。”他的同事,星巴克美國區、美洲區總裁兼Teavana茶品牌負責人克利夫•巴羅斯認為,南瓜風味的成功,與悠長暑假的結束和返校,以及美國勞動節假期的結束有關。他表示:“這是一個重要的轉折點。喝著南瓜味飲料度過這段轉折期是一個好辦法。”
That’s all well and good, but it doesn’t really explain why pumpkin spice outperforms other seasonal flavors. Starbucks’ eggnog latte and peppermint mocha both predate the PSL but haven’t entered the zeitgeist to nearly the same extent. Before landing on the PSL, Dukes said that Starbucks also considered a cinnamon streusel latte, a flavor that seems unlikely to have garnered as much attention or traction.
這個解釋倒也不錯,但并不能真正說明為何南瓜風味的表現優于其他季節性風味。星巴克的蛋酒拿鐵和薄荷摩卡比南瓜拿鐵更早問世,但都沒有如此大規模地引領時代潮流。杜克斯表示,星巴克在推出南瓜拿鐵之前,還考慮過肉桂奶油拿鐵,但這種口味似乎不太可能吸引如此多的關注或注意。
One reason pumpkin spice may be so popular is that it taps into a paradox of human desire: We like new things, but we also want things we know we’ll like, explains Harry Balzer of consumer market research company NPD Group. Balzer says that pumpkin pie is the second most-consumed pie in America (apple is No. 1), which is astonishing considering it’s essentially eaten only one day a year. That gives us the illusion that we’re eating a new flavor, and helps explain why Dunkin’ and Starbucks likely won’t ever offer pumpkin year round. Doing so would erode its mystique.
消費者市場研究公司NPD Group的專家哈利•巴爾澤解釋道,南瓜風味之所以大行其道,一個可能的原因是它抓住了人類的矛盾心理:我們喜歡新事物,但我們也想要一些我們知道自己會喜歡的事物。巴爾澤表示,南瓜派是美國消費量第二大的派(第一是蘋果派),這是個很讓人吃驚的結果,因為實際上,人們每年中只有一天會吃它。它給了我們一種錯覺,讓我們覺得自己在嘗試一種新風味。這也能解釋為何唐恩都樂和星巴克絕不會全年供應南瓜風味產品,因為這樣一來它的神秘性就會消失。
Alan Hirsch, founder and director of the Smell & Taste Treatment and Research Foundation in Chicago, thinks that there might be something physical going on. Hirsch, whose findings and research are not without controversy, has done work with Dunkin’ Donuts and sister brand Baskin-Robbins although not involving pumpkin. In one of his studies, he looked at the effects of 30 different scents on the sexual arousal of 31 male volunteers (yes, you read that correctly). He found that the scent causing the highest level of arousal was a combination of lavender and pumpkin pie. Doughnut and black licorice came in second, and the combination of doughnut and pumpkin pie came in third. Ironically, cranberry, the other big marker of Thanksgiving, came in last.
芝加哥嗅覺與味覺治療研究基金會(Smell & Taste Treatment and Research Foundation)創始人兼主管艾倫•赫希認為,其中可能也有一些身體因素在起作用。赫希與唐恩都樂及其姊妹品牌芭斯羅繽冰淇淋(Baskin-Robbins)合作過一些與南瓜無關的研究,不過他們得出的結論并非毫無爭議。在一項研究中,他觀察了30種不同氣味對31位男性志愿者造成的性喚起現象(對,你沒看錯)。他發現能夠引發最強烈性沖動的氣味是薰衣草和南瓜派的混合味道。甜甜圈和黑甘草糖的混合味道排名第二,甜甜圈和南瓜派的混合味道排名第三。頗具諷刺意味的是,感恩節中另一項重要食物蔓越莓排名墊底。
One of Hirsch’s hypotheses is that in our current culture, in which there’s been a loss of traditions, people are seeking out forms of comfort and security that they had as children. The smell of pumpkin spice brings them back to those moments. He also believes its ascent might stem from an aging society. As you grow older, you lose your sense of smell, but cinnamon, a major ingredient in pumpkin pie, is something that continues to cut through.
赫希的假設之一是,在目前這種遺失傳統的文化中,人們會尋找兒時曾經有過的舒適和安全感。南瓜的味道讓他們回憶起那些過去的時光。他還認為南瓜風味之所以流行,可能是因為社會的老齡化所致。隨著人們開始變老,嗅覺會變得遲鈍,但南瓜派中的主要成分之一肉桂依然很容易被聞到。
But part of pumpkin spice’s allure to consumer products companies is that it’s become a safe bet. “It’s a flavor line that’s appealing across all age groups,” says MaryAnne Drake, a professor of sensory analysis and flavor chemistry at North Carolina State University. “It transcends demographics.” Companies have caught on to the fact that Starbucks, a brand popular with millennials, has had major success with pumpkin spice, but the flavor is not too cutting edge that their parents won’t drink it. Drake notes that there’s been a push in food research to examine the role emotions play in what we eat. That has encouraged the proliferation of pumpkin spice offerings, since they evoke warm feelings.
不過南瓜風味對消費品公司的誘惑之一在于穩賺不賠。北卡羅萊納州立大學(North Carolina State University)感官分析和食品風味化學專業的教授瑪麗安娜•德雷克表示:“這是所有年齡段的人都喜歡的口味,輕松席卷各種人群。”各公司都注意到,風靡千禧一代的星巴克在南瓜風味上取得了很大的成功,而且這一風味也不會因過于前衛而導致他們的父母不愛喝。德雷克指出,食品研究領域正在探尋情感在我們進食時起到的作用。這也促進了南瓜風味產品的流行,因為它們會給人以溫暖的感覺。
Pumpkin spice’s popularity might not have anything to do with, well, pumpkin, argues HedyKulka, senior flavorist with International Flavors & Fragrances. “I don’t know if it’s so much the pumpkin part,” says Kulka, who admits to preferring a Starbucks eggnog latte to the PSL. “If you sold pumpkin people wouldn’t want it. It’s the background note.” What’s driving pumpkin spice’s appeal is the inclusion of cinnamon and nutmeg—two spices that coffee shops have been putting out on counters for customers to use for years, she notes. “They’re so familiar to Americans,” she says. “Nobody is putting cardamom out there for you to use.”
不過,國際香料香精公司(International Flavors & Fragrances)高級香料師赫蒂•庫爾卡表示,南瓜風味的流行也許與南瓜沒什么關系。庫爾卡承認自己喜歡蛋酒拿鐵更甚于南瓜拿鐵,并表示:“我不覺得南瓜起了多大作用。如果你是在賣南瓜,人們不會想買的。這只是個背景信息。”讓南瓜風味具有吸引力的是肉桂和肉豆蔻——咖啡店多年以來就把這兩種香料放在柜臺前供顧客取用。她說:“美國人對它們十分熟悉。但現在,沒有人會把小豆蔻放在那里讓你用。”
There are two possible futures for pumpkin spice: a world in which we max out on the flavor and the bubble pops. Or it might become even more ubiquitous to the point where we don’t even think about it. “I see this as something that is not necessarily a novelty anymore,” says Kulka. Soon, pumpkin may become so common that it’s just like plain old vanilla.
南瓜風味可能有兩種結局:全世界的人們終于受夠了這種味道,泡沫就此破裂;或者它變得更加無所不在,甚至到我們完全想象不到的地步。庫爾卡說:“我認為已經沒必要將它看作新鮮事物了。”南瓜味也許很快就會變得十分普遍,就像傳統的香草味道一樣。
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編輯:foodtrans

 
關鍵詞: 南瓜 消費心理學
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