Fat Hands

she used to sit in this cafe, and just face the wall. And it wasn’t coffee she was drinking

Coconut and Licorice

Posted by Alix on 21 September 2007

I’m not sure whether I’m going off in a wrongheaded direction here, but with a couple of recent food purchases I have felt somewhat misled by the packaging. Specifically I am annoyed that products have not prominently highlighted the fact that they are certain flavour – namely coconut or licorice, both of which I actively dislike, and I would never buy something which said it was these flavours. These flavours are kind of strong, and it’s all very well tucking this info away in the ingredients list, but when a flavour is as strong as coconut or licorice you kind of expect this to be on the display side of the product as a key feature (or at least I do, perhaps other people do not feel this way about these flavours, in which case I AM being wrongheaded, and you can all go back to doing the crossword, and I will start scrutinising the small print on products from now on).

The products in question are Wrigley’s Airwaves ‘Black Mint’ chewing gum and Eat Natural‘s ‘Macadamia and Fruit’ bar. Now, important issues arise from wording of these names –

1. Is calling something ‘black’ mint, and having black packaging enough to tip the buyer off as to the licorice flavour? There’s really very few, if any, colours which you can say are definate indicators of taste and I don’t think black is established as denoting licorice flavour to the extent where you could omit any actual mention of the licorice flavour. Plus licorice can also be red.

2. Is saying something is ‘fruit’ flavoured enough? I am willing to give Eat Natural the benefit of the doubt here, but my point about strong flavours makes me feel that coconut shouldn’t be lumped in under the general heading of fruit.

In order to assess what kind of minority I am in with my dislike of coconut and licorice I have run the following hastily thought out sentences through Google to see how many matches I get:

I hate coconut = 4,290 results
I hate licorice = 2,430
I hate aniseed = 175
I hate fruit = 657
I hate macadamia nuts = 79
I hate oranges = 1,990
I hate mint = 2,650
I hate strawberries = 1,620
I hate spearmint = 151
I hate peppermint = 563
I hate war = 139,000
I hate Hitler = 21,400
I hate Bush = 116,000
I hate Fat Hands = 2

(Your search – “i hate cute ickle bunnies” – did not match any documents.)

The results (which are clearly sound science) suggest that a dislike of coconut or licorice prompts more mentions on the internet, suggesting it is something people feel more strongly about, than, say dislike of oranges, and therefore the flavours should be flagged up prominently on products.

Conclusion: I am right, they are wrong.
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One Response to “Coconut and Licorice”

  1. Quink said

    For what it’s worth, I love liquorice and I am not keen on coconut. I also adore eating cute ickle bunnies. But black wrappers make me think as much of treacle toffee as licorice. I don’t think there’s much you can do, though, apart from write to Wrigleys and suggest they’ll sell more if they call the things “Liquormint” or somesuch…

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