Field of Science

Sweet teeth are growing up

A thought occurred to TPP this AM after seeing an ad for a new flavored gin from the little distillery visited yesterday. Why are these sweet, flavored things so popular? The answer is both pragmatic and reflective of market reality, although not all that pleasing on a personal level. While the buying power of my baby-boomer generation still has an impact (was not Mick Jagger host of SNL last night, and hilarious to boot?) on marketing, sweet flavored things are all over the place, but of no interest to people of my generation. TPP first noticed it in his coffee shoppe. Order a latte and the young thing operating the touch screen asks, "Do you want any flavoring in that?" No, I rather like the taste of coffee. And at that nice boutique distillery, along with some fine whiskeys there were several flavored whiskeys (chili pepper seems to be a flavor of immediate choice), but there are cherry-flavored, and cinnamon-flavored ones, and others TPP has barely noticed. Why a new little brewery in Snohomish WA had a beer flavored with roasted green chilis, and all that can be said is at least it wasn't sweet. The simplistic answer to all of this is that the sweet teeth of millennials has come of age, so the corollary is that TPP is becoming as old as dirt. The problem with all these flavored whiskeys (coffee, etc.) is that the thing that turns up missing is the flavor of whiskey drown in a sea of cloyingly-sweet flavor. TPP also noted this with young-adult nieces and nephews who while visiting at his Tuscan villa found the taste of negroni cocktails too bitter.  One asked if it would be OK to add sugar? They have grown up, but their palate hasn't. The makers of whiskey, the purveyors of coffee, and other flavored liquors don't necessarily like their products this way, but they are catering to a new market, young adults with kiddie sweet teeth, or is it tooths when used this way? Will their palates eventually grow up too? In some cases, yes. The nieces and nephews seemed to enjoy decent wine (especially when they weren't paying). If these flavor adulterated items begin to push out the real thing, then it will get ugly. Hmm, TPP left one store the other day when they failed to have a single anejo rum that was not spice flavored! That comes from shopping too close to a college campus.

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