Spicy or sour? Bold flavors make a big impact.

Spicy and sour – two flavors that people either love or hate. But did you ever stop to think why? Is it cultural or developmental? Or is it physiological? And, more importantly, how can you use these polarizing tastes to spread the message of your brand?

Feel the burn.

You probably know a pepperhead, someone who loves the burn of hot sauces approaching the level of atomic radiation. Or maybe they prefer the clean, nose singing flavor of hot mustards, horseradish or wasabi. Or the peppery sharpness of black pepper. And don’t forget about the warm sting of cinnamon candy.

Spicy foods come in many varieties, with levels ranging from “ooh, that has a kick,” to “my insides are a river of molten fire.” Taste for and tolerance of spicy foods often comes down to personal preference. Believe it or not, a study from the ‘80s discovered spicy lovers were more likely to be thrill seekers.  There is a definite connection  between people who love rollercoasters, skydiving and other extreme activities, and a preference for spicy foods.

Keep these thrill-seeking spice junkies thinking of your brand the next time they sauce up a bowl of ramen noodles or need a dipping sauce for their fries with sriracha sauce in a custom bottle. Spicy and delicious, it’s a product that’s sure to be used by anyone seeking the endorphin-releasing burn of hot foods.

Why so sour?

Did you ever have one of those really sour candies? The kind that make your tongue curl and your cheeks suck in? Pretty fun, right? But what a strange flavor for humans to like. What’s that all about? And why do some people love them so much?

According to a 2009 study, it might go back to childhood. Research has shown that children’s taste buds are different than adults, part of which is an increased sensitivity to and taste for sour foods. One theory as to why is that sour is generally associated with fruit, in particular citrus. This hypothesis suggests our prehistoric ancestors who developed a taste for sours were more likely to get enough vitamin C while their bodies were growing, thus making them better suited for survival.

At any rate, sour, like spicy, is a very polarizing flavor. Delight the sour lovers in your world with an assortment of sour candies in a custom box.

Whatever you choose, food gifts in spicy or sour flavors are sure to make an impact. Miles removed from ordinary branded items, pepperheads and sour-lovers won’t forget your brand if you give them something they’ll love. For more ideas, check out Share the Season, our Food Gift Idea book.