Manufacturing guy-at-large.

Frosh > Frish

Added on by Spencer Wright.

Dan Jurafsky, writing about the phonetics of the names we give ice cream flavors. Emphasis mine. 

In one marketing study, for example, Richard Klink created pairs of made-up product brand names that were identical except for having front vowels or back vowels: nidax (front vowel) verus nodax (back vowel), or detal (front vowel) versus dutal (back vowel). For a number of hypothetical products, he asked people which seemed bigger or smaller, or heavier or lighter, with questions like:

Which brand of laptop seems bigger; Detal or Dutal?
Which brand of vacuum cleaner seems heavier, Keffi or Kuffi?
Which brand of ketchup seems thicker, Nellen or Nullen? 
Which brand of beer seems darker, Esab or Usab?

In each case, the participants in the study tended to choose the product named by back vowels (dutalnodax) as the larger, heavier, thicker, darker product. Similar studies have been conducted in various other languages.

The fact that consumers think of brand names with back vowels as heavy, thick, richer products suggests that they might prefer to name ice cream with back vowels, since ice cream is a product whose whole purpose is to be heavy and rich.

Indeed, it turns out that people seem to (at least mildly) prefer ice creams that are named with back vowels. In a study in the Journal of Consumer Research Eric Yorkston and Geeta Menon had participants read a press release describing a new ice cream about to be released. Half the participants read a version where the ice cream was called "Frish" (front vowel) and the other half read a version where it was called "Frosh" (back vowel), but the press release was otherwise identical. Asked their opinions of this (still hypothetical) ice cream, the "Frosh" people rated it as smoother, creamier, and richer than the "Frish" people, and were more likely to say they would buy it. The participants were even more influenced by the vowels if they were simultanously distracted by performing some other task, suggesting that their response to the vowels was automatic, at a non-conscious level.

People are *so* weird.