My first real association with brand loyalty was likely like a lot of us. Coke or Pepsi. When I was growing up, on the Ontario/Quebec border, the French kids always preferred an after-game Pepsi and the English kids went for the Coke. In this area, Pepsi was a cuter version of Frog. I don’t know if that is just a local thing or an eastern-Canada thing. I never really said Frog but Pepsi always sounded cutish. Funny, I just wiki’ed Frog as a derogatory. It was first referred to the Dutch by the English in the days when they were enemies. Because the Dutch were considered marsh-dwellers. It was transferred to the French in the 19th century because they were the new enemy and ate frogs’ legs. Ha! I learned something from this.
Anyway, I still order Coke before Pepsi though both are fine. Except for our health.
We’re so susceptible to our histories and advertising, irrationally. My great Uncle Kilby was a successful NHL hockey player but the war derailed his career. As was often the case, ex-hockey players became beer reps because they knew how to work, deal with the public, and were recognizable. He sold Labatt’s. So, long after he had died, my uncles’ cottage fridges contained Cinquante and Blue. When my brother and I were old enough, we once brought a case of Molson up to the lake and when we passed through the threshold with a 24 of Ex, the card game stopped, the jaws dropped, and there was a look of disappointment in the eyes of the uncles and my father, who we knew could still love us.
When I was twenty and in Montreal, the cool (not Kool) kids smoked American smokes because they had a better image, were available, were cheap under the counter, and they tasted better. So we thought. And opening a soft-pack took style that opening a pack of DuMauriers didn’t. Same with Zippo lighters. Even though they stank, you had to refill them, were more expensive, and were heavier. But you could get your initials engraved in them. Idiots.
I can’t remember the last time I bought a litre of ice cream. When Baskin Robbins came out, I used to love Burgundy Cherry. My mom loved Prailines and Cream. Tonight, I bought Prailines and Cream in her memory. I also like it. If she had liked Rice Pudding, I would have just said an Agnostic prayer for her.
When I was buying and selling wine, only rich people and newbies thought French and Italian were the best. Had I been rich and learned, maybe I would only drink French and Italian reds. But I liked California Cabs the best and if they were too expensive, Chileans. If you ever did taste tests like we had to, you would be more cognizant of the value difference. And the good and expensive stuff, most people don’t know how to age or store properly anyway and the vintners would be mortified. And the glass and temperature has almost as much to do with the taste as the terroir.
Baked or Mashed? Ketchup or Vinegar? Ruffles or plain. We all do it subconsciously mostly. But our tastes may have changed. Maybe poutine and a cheap glass of nasty white with a Joe Louis for dessert might suit your tastes and you don’t even know it. Try it!!!