In an excerpt from The Language of Food, Dan Jurafsky considers the logic of junk-food brand names:
Across most languages of the world, front vowels tend to be used in words for small, thin, light things, and back vowels in words for big, fat, heavy things. It’s not always true, but it’s a tendency that you can see in any of the stressed vowels in words like little, teeny, or itsy-bitsy (all front vowels) versus humongous or enormous (back vowels). Or Spanish chico (front vowel, meaning “small”) versus the gordo (back vowel, meaning “fat”). Or French petit (front vowel) versus grand (back vowel). …
Since ice cream is a product whose whole purpose is to be rich, creamy, and heavy, it is not surprising that people seem to prefer ice creams that are named with back vowels. Eric Yorkston and Geeta Menon at New York University found that participants asked about a hypothetical ice cream named either Frish (front vowel) or Frosh (back vowel) rated Frosh as smoother, creamier, and richer than Frish.
Do manufacturers make use of this subconscious association of back vowels with richness and creaminess? I checked to see whether commercial ice creams (like Häagen-Dazs and Ben & Jerry’s) were more likely to use back vowels in their flavor names, and conversely whether thin, light foods like crackers would have more front vowels in their brand names. The result? Lots more back vowels in ice cream names: Rocky Road, Jamoca Almond Fudge, Chocolate, Caramel, Cookie Dough, Coconut. And lots more front vowels in cracker names: Ritz, Cheese Nips, Cheez It, Wheat Thins, Krispy, Triscuit, Thin Crisps, Chicken in a Biskit, Ritz Bits.