Holiday Lattes

The Private Pleasure of a Holiday Latte

Pumpkin Spice LatteHow do they come up with these objects of desire? Just as the frenzy over the return of the pumpkin spice latte is waning, Starbucks is ready to line people up for a chestnut praline latte or an eggnog latte topped with freshly ground nutmeg. Can’t you just smell it?

It turns out that a lot of research goes into evoking that emotional response. Starbucks invested two years of research and development in coming up with their new chestnut praline latte. Sophisticated flavorists develop tastes and aromas linked to powerful memories and feelings.

Food scientist MaryAnne Drake gave us a peek behind the curtain, telling public radio’s Marketplace:

There was a study where they actually – forgive me for being indelicate – hooked up men and their private parts and then had them smell particular things to see which evoked the best response from their private parts. And pumpkin pie spice had a really strong response.

No wonder people are lining up for it. No need to worry that one of these holiday lattes has more sugar, salt, and fat than a Snickers bar. We won’t even mention calories.

It’s not addictive. You just really want it. Just think about those chestnuts roasting on an open fire. Cuddle up.

Click here to read more from Marketplace and here to read more from MarketWatch.

Holiday Lattes photograph © Starbucks / flickr

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