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Pilk or Hellmann’s Mayo-nog: It’s time for taste adventures

It’s the end of the year, and many companies are looking for one last chance to wow their audiences this holiday season. Two big brands are trying something new and exciting, but more importantly, they prove it’s time for a taste adventure!

The Pepsi Pilk campaign dares to ask for the impossible. What is “Pilk”, you may wonder. Pilk is a drink mix taking the Internet by storm and combines Pepsi and milk to create a delightful festive concoction with Christmas cookies this year. “Combining Pepsi and milk has long been a secret hack among Pepsi fans,” said Todd Kaplan, Pepsi’s chief marketing officer, in a media release announcing the campaign. 

Another daring brand, Hellmann’s, created the Frozen Mayo-nog & Snickerdoodle Mayo Cookie, billed as “an unexpected new cocktail and dessert pairing” and said to be “inspired by the classic holiday tradition of milk and cookies.”

Call it whatever you like — dirty soda or Pilk — the beverage is trending with the hashtag #dirtysoda and now has more than 115 million views on TikTok. Both campaigns have given the brands great media exposure and attracted new customers who enjoy the product and view the brand as agile and willing to take risks for growth. Major brands plan to explore the expression of familiar tastes in new and exciting combinations, which is the goal of TasteDNA.

Brands in the past have created memorable taste experiences for consumers by using beautiful imagery for our eyes or catchy jingles for our ears.

Companies are discovering that creating and attaching their products with unique taste experiences can be a powerful way to harness brand affinity from consumers. Taste is closely linked to smell, so it has a powerful connection to memory.

These brands, just like TasteDNA are challenging our subjective taste preferences. Many people have resigned to only enjoying familiar tastes forgetting that taste is a product of our genes and our environment and multiple factors, including genes, experience, and age, determine our food preferences.

Childhood exposures, familiar cuisines, economic status, and genetics can influence food preferences. With this restricting so many people from unlearning current habits and creating new connections and relationships with food, taste is an underexplored sense.

With all the information and unprecedented access to so many diverse food types driven by the growing popularity of food delivery apps, it’s the ideal time to see past barriers and a taste adventure. We created TasteDNA to remove these non-tangible barriers by providing unprecedented access to many diverse food types as new versions of the food you already enjoy and taking you on a taste adventure.

A taste adventure is about exploring new and different flavors in novel combinations of familiar foods. It can involve trying fresh new foods or experimenting with different ways of combining ingredients to create unique and exciting flavors. A taste adventure can be as simple as trying a new type of fruit or vegetable or involve more complex culinary experiments. For example, a taste adventure might include trying new cuisine, such as Indian or Thai food, or mixing ingredients not typically used together, such as chocolate and bacon. The idea is to challenge your taste buds and discover new and exciting flavors.

TasteDNA is an app that looks to capitalize on taste preferences and usher in a new perspective on our collective relationship with food. The platform promises users the ability to create their taste profile, which allows them to articulate the nuances that define their taste preferences. Taste profiles focus on taste and flavor and transcend traditional notions of cuisine or local culture.

We are also creating a platform and ecosystem where brands can test their most outlandish taste and flavor creations. We believe that aggregating taste preferences from hundreds of thousands of users will shape the future of a food brand’s taste and flavor direction.

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