Fruit substitute. 1. A rich confection, such as a strawberry sucker or a chocolate mint, designed to communicate with our taste buds for sweetness and, secondarily, with our receptors for sour, bitter, or salty tastes. 2. A food product designed to mimic the usually sweet taste of ripe fruit.
Usage: In U.S. supermarkets, the three best-selling candy bars--M&M's, Snickers, and Reese's Peanut Butter Cup (Krantz 1991)--contain nuts, and are crunchy rather than merely soft. The top three successfully combine sweetness and nuttiness in a proven evolutionary formula for primates. So tasty are these and other candy bars that, according to the Hershey company, two-thirds are eaten immediately upon purchase.
M&M's. Colorful, nut-sized M&M's are among the most popular fruit substitutes of all time. Their crisp, candy coatings encase milk chocolate mixed with finely ground peanut powder. On average, U.S. citizens swallow 11,000 M&M's in a lifetime (Heyman 1992), liking the orange ones least. (N.B.: The primate brain decodes orange as a warning(or aposematic) coloration sign, often associated with poisonous snakes, insects, and berries.)
Drawing of "Showing My Nonverbal Side" by my son Aaron M. Huffman (copyright 2012 by Aaron M. Huffman)