Culinary companies create mystery flavors 

In an era in which consumers can extensively research products and over-plan each purchase, marketers are removing some of this work and giving consumers the chance to be surprised. Food and beverage brands are taking this approach by offering items whose flavors are a mystery, tempting people to discover foods they may not have otherwise tried.


Instead of revealing the flavor of its latest cookie, Oreo has decided to keep the information a secret and encourage adventurous eaters to guess. Through the end of November, those willing to try its Mystery Flavor have the chance to win $500K if they are correct. Oreo has been known to experiment with wild and unexpected flavors and introduce cookies through innovative tactics, so this stunt is in keeping with the brand’s playful spirit. The Web has been abuzz that the cookie seems like a fruity flavor, with many speculating that it's Fruit Loops or Fruity Pebbles.


Burger King France gave customers the chance to order a “Mystery Burger” earlier this Fall, meaning they were surprised with one of 10 of its signature sandwiches like the Whopper or the Steakhouse. The item placed inside was chosen at random in a stunt that gave people the opportunity to try various burgers on its menu without being fed aggressive promotions. Burgers were served in a white, unbranded box to further convey a sense of mystery. The tactic sought to tap into people’s adventurous side and give them an element of surprise.


To create its own mystery this Halloween season and drum up excitement for the holiday, candy brand HI-CHEW introduced an assorted pack called Sweet and Sour Mystery Mix. The variety bag contained three typical flavors—Sour Lemon, Sour Grapefruit, and Green Apple—alongside a top-secret flavor placed in white wrappers. Fans could visit Hi-CHEW’s social media channels to find a Halloween story complete with clues and then were encouraged to guess the flavor on the brand’s website to win prizes. The mystery candy has since been revealed: Valencia Orange.