We have purposely chosen Mexico as the second nation in the “Freshness around the World” series. The United States and Mexico share a common border and a number of cultural elements. Yet “Freshness” is perceived differently in Mexico than America. Deeper sensorial information and testing as to fresh taste must be considered when approaching a new market.
Freshness Mood in Mexico
Panelists and moderators explored what the concept of everyday freshness meant to Mexicans in terms of colors, flavors, images and emotions. The methodology went from generalized feelings to deeper sensory information.
What is every day freshness? Mexican consumers often mentioned beach and beach imagery including boats, sea breeze, sounds of waves, beach houses, sunbathing and associations -- coco butter, sunsets and holding hands; cold beer, partying, clubs and music. Associated scents and flavors included: vanilla, green or iced tea; orange or lemon juice, Piña colada, mint, strawberry and “party scent.” As with the American study, there were references to showering (after exercise), cleanliness, and soap. Personal hygiene was a component of feeling fresh. Freshness meant feeling self assured and comfortable.
Deeper Elements of Freshness
What are the sensorial elements Mexicans correlate with freshness? Freshness appears to be two aspects to the same emotion; the internal and external, “Fresh” and “Refreshing.” Fresh suggests inner confidence, while refreshing is actionable. Inner confidence leads to love/passion, relaxation/concentration and inner peace.
For Mexicans, this inner confidence of freshness manifests itself in color, smell, sound and flavor. Associated colors are soft and pastel; light green, blue, purple, grays, silver and cream. The fragrances associated with inner calm include Open air, humid earth, Patchouli, Forest/wood/pine and tea. The sounds recalled in the relaxed frame of mind birds singing, the sea, classical music, reggae and rain. In terms of flavors, freshness encompasses peppermint, cinnamon, kiwi, strawberry, grape, blackberry and marihuana. Relaxation was also inclusive of honey, herbal, green or black tea and coffee.
Panelists told us that having confidence leads to fun; therefore the references to parties.
Associated party colors include Orange, electric blue, rainbow, fluorescent and gold. Fragrances and flavors included Cocktails/Pina Colada, Hibiscus-lime, cinnamon, strawberry, tutti-frutti with mint, watermelon, mango, kiwi-strawberry, beer and cherry-mint.
Mexican Concept of Freshness
Freshness was an evolving concept to the Mexican panelists. It starts with being self-assured and confident and leads to fun and enjoyment. Where American imagery of freshness was strongly linked to nature, clean and pure, the Mexican feeling linked it to the inner sensations of relaxation, peace, passion and contentment. Americans tended toward forest scenes while Mexicans embraced the beach. In both cultures, water plays a role in freshness.
American ideas of freshness make the journey to freshness the end point, but to Mexicans feeling confident and relaxed about life can lead to partying and fun.