The 5 Laziest Snack-Food Innovations
You have to remain ever-vigilant of corporations in this modern world. They put up a front of friendliness, what with their bubbly, colorful logos, and the smiling faces of clowns and kercheived tigers, but you can’t allow yourself to be swayed. You must know, at all points, that you’re nothing but a small vein of ore to them, something to have your value pried away, bit by bit, by the velvet pickaxe of advertising.
If you’re a snack company, what better way to rile up the populace than to reveal some sort of never-before-seen orientation of a preferred snack food. Sure, you’ve had Reese’s peanut cups for your whole life, but now that they’re shaped, in the vaguest possible way, like a pumpkin, they must be simply irresistible. This is flimflam of the highest order, and you have to steel your mind against it. Even worse, sometimes they attempt to kill two birds with their single stone and “debut” a new product that is just a lazier version of the original.
Here are five of the laziest junk food “innovations” ever…
Oops! All Berries
Oh, was there an “accident” down at the Captain Crunch factory? Did Horatio Magellan Crunch himself accidentally lean on the wrong level and fuck all the machinery’s crunchitization levels? I’m sorry, but I don’t believe that verkakte story for a second. Don’t try to pull that blue and purple wool over my eyes, you despicable cereal warlord, or your corporate associates.
I see through you with the ease of un-stained glass. You smelled blood in the water to the tune of sugar-addicted children for whom even the already heavily sugared default Crunch Particles no longer fed their fix. You get to debut a brand-new cereal, and the advertising push that goes along with it, without actually having to invent anything new. You’re just capitalizing on the human fascination of any new offering, and at the same time, hoping we don’t realize this is just a way for you to save on electricity and maintenance costs by giving the robot that combines the Captain Crunch and the Berries one day off a week.
It should be said before we go any further that inclusion on this list does not mean I do not enjoy the snack in question. I have been known to enjoy a handful of Buncha Crunch clusters during an afternoon matinee. I cannot, however, let that personal enjoyment cloud my duty to call out attempts at bamboozling by the lowly, worm-like marketing departments of the Confectionary Lobby.
When Crunch bars debuted, they chose an unwieldy shape and presentation. A chocolate bar thin enough to be practically allergic to shipping, even before its base architecture was destroyed by a network of weak points in the form of puffed rice. Not to mention a carefully imprinted “CRUNCH” logo on the top that I can only imagine grows more irritating to include by the day. They look at the success of more simply decorate bars like Twix and Milky Way, perfectly happy to look like an unapologetic turd, and realize how much time and effort they’ve wasted for naught.
In comes Buncha Crunch to save the day. Forget checking the typography of a bar for errors, you no longer have to form a shape at all. Merely spray chocolate wantonly over a conveyor belt of loose crunch and package them. Then throw them into a cardboard box that they couldn’t be bothered to toss an internal bag into. You’re eating nuggets out of a box of chocolate-smeared raw cardboard, like something an orphan would have under their ratty coat. They’re “more snackable”? Stop pissing on my head and claiming it’s rain, and fess up.
“Uh, actually, the toasted corn flavor was the original offering of Doritos. The heavily flavored versions came later, so this isn’t an innovation.” Shut up. SHUT UP! Fuck off back to r/SnackFood or whatever detestable hive you buzzed out of. I don’t care if they’d existed in the past, it was Doritos’ choice to bring them forward into the future, and straight into my crosshairs. Some things deserve to stay in the past, with trepanation and purple ketchup.
What adds insult to injury is for them to attempt the most base-level form of confusion on the populace by labeling them “Toasted Corn” flavor, when we all know that means that they are fucking tortilla chips. If you’re going to force us to experience your history, at least be honest to it! Don’t act like some janitor at the Frito-Lay factory accidentally left corn in a toaster and now we’re being treated to a New World of Flavor. Do they truly think we’re no smarter than apes?
Speaking of things that should stay in the past, let’s beat the dead horse that is Crystal Pepsi. Much like this doomed, carbonated disaster, I see right through you. Trying to save money on caramel coloring and painting it as a soda of the future? There should have been a public apology for this thin attempt at deception. For shame!
I will admit, this last entry is a bit backwards, but I stand by it. Once you’ve finished reading, I think you will too. Obviously, the original Oreo is the complete opposite of innovation. Where my objection lies is in the fact that we cannot let them die the death they should have when their superior successor, the Double Stuf, took the throne. Instead, they refuse to abdicate, a coughing, impotent husk of a cuckolded king, sitting on a throne no one still bows to.
As soon as the technology to stuf oreos double emerged, it became clear this was the future. Sure, some people still prefer them, like the elderly and Catholics, but the world of sweets has evolved so far that they’re barely cookies at all anymore. They could be sold as Atkins meal replacements and barely bat an eye. Double Stuf has waited long enough. Let them wear the crown of the flagship Oreo. I don’t care what you do with the old ones, market them Diet Oreos for all I care. Which I’m just cynical enough to think would absolutely work.
Eli Yudin is a stand-up comedian in Brooklyn. You can follow him on Twitter and Instagram at @eliyudin and listen to his podcast, What A Time to Be Alive, about the five weirdest news stories of the week, on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or wherever else you get your podcasts.