You could see the appeal of TV and gaming, and hey, everyone likes ice cream. But absolutely nothing in any Dilbert comic had anything to do with Dilbertios, the line of Dilbert-branded microwave vegan burritos that were introduced to a confused America in 1999. You can still play the promotional Flash game!
Scott Adams Foods, Inc.A microwave burrito with broccoli in it? Hang on tight, these are bound to take off!
Adams had ridiculously high aspirations for the product, hoping it would become "the blue jeans of food" while also making a dent in the nutritional problems that plague society. He had even presaged its glorious, society-altering arrival in a 1997 book. Their four different flavors did boast 100 percent of the recommended daily value for 23 different vitamins and minerals with a mere 350 calories, but unfortunately, that didn't leave much room for taste. The New York Times review, aptly titled "At Last, a Vitamin Pill Wrapped in a Tortilla," described it as something that "could have been designed only by a food technologist, or by someone who eats lunch without much thought to taste." Adams would go on to describe it a little more bluntly, saying that "three bites of the Dilberito made you fart so hard your intestines formed a tail."
But it was the marketing that was truly baffling, as the Dilberito seemed to consist largely of paradoxes. People interested in health food were unlikely to buy a frozen burrito, as the frozen burrito market consists of people who put no thought into the nutritional value of their diet. The Dilbert name meant little to people who had yet to enter the workforce, but the Dilberito was marketed predominately to college students, because they had the highest concentrated population of vegetarians. Even die-hard Dilbert fans had little reason to be interested, as the comic strip had done absolutely nothing to cultivate an interest in healthy eating, instead espousing the joys of junk food.
Adams claims he lost millions of dollars on the venture, and while he admitted that the taste was bad, he mostly blamed poor shelf placement and nefarious tactics from his competitors. That must explain the success of Doonesburritos, which are ubiquitous even to this day.
Alan is on Twitter, probably talking about pop punk, The Simpsons, or dogs he's seen. In addition to talking about food and comics, Brogan eats food and writes comics. Find him on Twitter.
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