According to this recent article by NPR, Skittles… wait for it… actually all taste the same. And people are losing it.
Don Katz, a Brandeis University neuropsychologist who specializes in taste, told NPR that candy companies like Skittles have always been aware of the impact color dye has on the taste of each different “colored skittle” but in fact they actually all taste the same. “The Skittles people, being much smarter than most of us, recognized that it is cheaper to make things smell and look different than it is to make them actually taste different. So, Skittles have different fragrances and different colors — but they all taste exactly the same.”
I know it’s hard to process, but we’ll break it down for you.
Katz went on to explain that our brains are used to processing certain sensory cues together. So let’s say you pick up a purple skittle. Most people associate candy that’s purple as a grape flavor, and it also usually has a grape-like scent. Katz says when you’re offered two of these three sensory cues (sight and smell), your brain will fill in the blanks.
So basically, we assume before even eating the purple skittle that it will be grape flavor, and when we consume it our brain tricks us into believing it is grape flavor when it’s not.
“There are some fruity candies in which they do specific flavorings in different ones; higher-end gummy bears actually do taste different,” Katz explained. “But yeah, a lot of candy companies have figured out this is just a way to save money.”
Furthermore, this study done by the Flavour Journal seems to agree with the idea of sensory cues, stating that, “indeed, color certainly also influence people’s flavor perception in more of a top-down manner as well. Here, it is relevant to note that researchers have demonstrated that labeling, branding, and other descriptive information can all modify the meaning of a given food color and by so doing influence the perceived taste of a food or beverage.”
Mind = blown.
After all these years of thinking Skittles were multiple flavors, I feel like my life is a lie. What other secrets are these candy companies hiding? I want answers!
Wel, one thing we don’t have to worry about is Haribo gummy bears. We can’t speak for all brands, but Haribo confirmed that their gummies do in fact come in multiple flavors. The Vice President of Marketing at Haribo Keith Dannoff reported to NPR that their gummies have 5 different flavors. “I can’t speak for all gummy bears products but I can definitely tell you that the HARIBO Gold-Bears gummy bear products in the US contain 5 distinct flavors: Strawberry, Lemon, Orange, Pineapple, and Raspberry,” he promised.
That’s definitely great news, but what about our skittles? Do we really believe this is legit? Many have taken to twitter to discuss their thoughts on the Skittles devastation.
I just can’t get past it – I’ve tried but I loved the lime flavor – my sister and I used to eat the lemon and lime at the same time and talk about how it tasted like how Pledge smells lmao
— t (@dopaminediscord) January 16, 2018
While others decided to conduct their own research.
— Erin Lindsay Patrick (@ErinLindsayP) January 8, 2018
Whether you believe it or not, don’t let this shocking realization keep you away from your favorite candy.
As for me, I don’t think I’ll be able to look at skittles the same way again.