By Hadas Kuznits
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Everywhere you look, it seems advertisers are touting pumpkin-flavored everything.
Dr. Marcia Pelchat, a sensory scientist at the Monell Center in University City, says taste is connected to smell and in the brain, smell is located next to memory.
“When people have a food craving, they’re experiencing a sensory and emotional memory,” says Pelchat.
She says there are also cultural associations with positive memories.
“It’s really all in our heads and in our heads, pumpkins ripen in the fall, autumn holidays are associated with pumpkins,” Pelchat explains.
And there’s one more piece to the puzzle that makes folks crave a certain food or flavor.
“The other thing that makes people want to go out and get something is the perception that they might run out of it,” says Pelchat.
Kuznits: “That causes demand.”
“Right, right. We call it an acquisitive panic,” Pelchat says.