You may have thought choosing chocolate over vanilla comes down to you taste buds, however, a leading food psychologist believes it may have more to do with your personality.
Flavour expert, Greg Tucker has partnered up with Wheyhey, the naturally sugar-free ice cream brand, to identify exactly what some ice cream flavours may suggest about an individual’s personality.
Speaking about why the choice in treat unveils our traits, the ‘flavologist’ explains: “Ice cream is one of the very few innate taste preferences that we, as humans, are born with.
Why is this? The basic ice cream formulation of a vanilla dairy fat product which is highly sweetened and as consumed coats the mouth and throat is a pretty good description for breast milk! No wonder we have evolved to like that formulation then.
“Just as the baby being fed leads to them being soothed, calmed and comforted – so these paired emotional benefits last into our later consumption of ice cream.”
Tucker adds, “Eating ice cream changes the mood – reinforcing the sense of a moment of personal reward and enjoyment – a pleasure that soothes and cheers, a moment of indulgence where the melt of the product calms and rewards. There is a youthful exuberance to ice cream that lasts into adulthood because it is such a signifier in childhood of good times and this energising sense of fun helps ensure that there is little real guilt in this sweet treat. Ice cream really is happy food!”
It is no surprise then that flavours build on ice creams attributes to enhance and magnify some of the key emotional benefits.
The food psychologist says, “In such an emotionally rich environment we should not be surprised that the actual flavour choices reveal things about our mood and personality.”
Brits who choose classic chocolate are deemed a ‘sensualist’ – likely to be seductive, flirtatious and dramatic.
Those who vote vanilla are dubbed an ‘idealist’, associated with being pure and noble.
And if you pick sensational strawberry, you are perceived to be a ‘sun seeker’ that is known to be sweet, innocent and naïve.
However, the expert warns fans of the frozen desert to avoid ice creams that boast a high sugar content in order to gain a true reflection.
“When you eat sugary food, you have to bear in mind any ‘sugar costs’ that comes with it, such as guilt, so having a sugar-free treat gives you permission to really enjoy the experience, maximise pleasure and you can lose yourself in the moment.
“Wheyhey maintains its natural bona fides and is a protein rich snack that is naturally sugar-free, which helps ensure the balance of judgements made by the consumer aren’t altered.
“The potential for feelings of guilt and excess to mar the enjoyment of the ice cream moment are significantly eroded because Wheyhey is a no sugar formulation where sweetness is delivered naturally.”
To celebrate a soft serve summer season, Wheyhey will be offering Brits the chance to win a years’ worth of sugar-free ice cream.
To be in with a chance to win, those with a sweet tooth must head to @wheyheyofficial and comment on the competition post, naming their favourite flavour.
Damien Kennedy, Founder of Wheyhey, comments, “We wanted our fans to have fun by learning what their favourite flavour says about them.”
“Our main aim at Wheyhey is to show our community that you don’t have to compromise on taste when living a healthy lifestyle.
“We’re proud to offer a sugar-free, high-protein alternative that doesn’t compromise on taste or texture. This means you can still tuck into your favourite flavour – but with none of the guilt that you may feel with other high-sugar ice creams out there.”
Vanilla: The Idealist
Nothing beats the age-old classic, vanilla! And if this is the flavour you normally reach for, Greg reveals you might be innocent, pure and noble.
“Vanilla ice cream soothes and calms, restores and nourishes the body and the mood. A person who chooses this flavour is not seeking thrills and novelty, rather a more homely type of person who needs support and reassurance.”
He continues, “As a flavour, vanilla reflects certain values such as trustworthiness and reliability, the person who selects the flavour is no risk taker. They want a product that delivers a moment of permitted pleasure, soothes the mood and calms the psyche.”
Chocolate: The Sensualist
If you’re a real chocoholic, Tucker reveals that you’re likely to be seductive, flirtatious and dramatic.
“People who tuck into chocolate ice cream create a link between the two products that are associated with melting richness.
“The individual will eat this flavour as a slowing moment to themselves to refocus on the inner experience that directs the mood into a more relaxed, sexual and calmed state – a moment of true enjoyment and inner-directed reward.”
Strawberry: The Sun Seeker
Do you find yourself daydreaming about school holidays, blowsy summer days and kicking back with some strawberries and cream? Greg reveals you’re likely to be sweet, innocent and naïve.
“The strawberry ice cream consumer wishes a degree of childlike rapture – the summers of family fun, safety and endless sunshine encapsulated in the perfection of the idealised strawberry. It may even be used as a flavour choice to make the day feel more sunny as it links back to these recalled summer moments and memories…”
Salted Caramel: The Stylist
Do you always pick the luxurious taste of salted caramel? You’re likely to be more casual, sleek and confident.
“This is a person who is confident in their own character and presence, not showy or flash but rather happy in their own skin.”
Mint Choc Chip: The Freshest
Are you always on the hunt for the bright green soft serve? Greg says you’re likely to be hedonistic, faithful and relaxed.
“The delivery of mint in ice cream brings a vitality and freshness to the mouth and the moment.
“The two elements of chocolate and cream mixed with the mint deliver some indulgence, reward and pleasure.”
Brownies & Cream: The Hedonist
If you get cravings for brownies & cream ice cream, this suggests that you’re independent, playful and smart.
“A smart choice, a balancing of desires vs. risks – a person that eats brownies & cream seeks ways in which to have what they want and avoid the downsides.
“They are self-aware, somewhat controlled in their behaviours in that they do not let go completely, yet they know that they do need to satisfy their inner desires.”
Coconut: The Escapist
If you often dream of the flavours of the Caribbean, you might be exotic, upbeat and adventurous.
Greg explains: “The associations with coconut as a flavour are powerfully exotic and upbeat – sun drenched beaches fringed with coconut palms, blue skies and sunshine and the background sound of a calypso beat – the Caribbean essence, the summer vibe.”
“Brits think tropical when they select this flavour – a laid back feel driven by associations with suncream and sunshine!”
Rum & Raisin: The Nonconformist
Love mixing alcohol with frozen treats? You’re likely to be a rebel, relaxed and confident.
“With the heady taste of alcohol in a children’s product – ice cream – we have here something that signals a maturing palate, an establishment of choices after the simplicity of childhood and the finding of one’s own space, time and style.”
Pistachio: The Sophisticate
Fancy ice cream that isn’t too sweet? You’re classy, stylish and contemporary.
“This is not a flavour that many will be finding childhood recollections in – rather this is about the maturing and expanding palate as new and exciting flavours are sought – pushing the boundaries but not in a simple sweet and rebellious way but rather in a more mature and considered way.”
Hazelnut: The Naturalist
This nutty serve suggests that you’re earthy, honest and wholesome.
Greg comments: “This is a real choice for the consumer who seeks untainted goodness. Earthy and somewhat healthy in its muesli connections, this feels like a choice that speaks of being in touch with nature’s bounty.”
Cinnamon: The Homemaker
Those who enjoy this wintery flavour are likely to be warm, deep and relaxed.
“Cinnamon gives a glow from within – reinforced by being delivered in a frozen matrix of dairy luxury. Cinnamon has hues of warmth, Xmas cake and the cherished nature of being wrapped up in love, security and home.”