Have you ever thought, "Hey, you know, our nation's supermarkets and drugstores seem more loaded with disastrous one-off products than I can ever remember?"
You're not paranoid. It's true. Food companies are finding it increasingly difficult to build brands with frazzled and attention-deficient consumers, and so they're forced to innovate constantly in order to grow. Most of this "innovation" is really repurposing and repackaging existing products to play on our fears, our weaknesses, and our perceived lack of time.
And here are three horrifying products to demonstrate that we are truly living in the Fecal Age of Consumer Packaged Goods:
1. God, America, and Moderately Addictive Stimulants: Ol' Glory, America's Best Energy Drink
This is George W. Bush's 2004 presidential campaign in a 16-oz aluminum can. On the side it claims to be "Keeping Americans Strong" and on the back...
...The Pledge of Allegiance, with the 1954 "UNDER GOD" portion in defiant all caps. This can of sleep-substitute will inject you with high fructose corn syrup, caffiene, taurine, and pretty much the rest of Red Bull's ingredients. But since it's just a buck and it comes in a gigantic container, it feels like a "better value" than that Euro-froofroo juice. In fact, Ann Coulter sucks backs a whole six-pack before filing down her hooves every morning.
2. Disturbing television tie-in: Fear Factor Pop-Ups.
Hey, wannabe cannibals! Whether you're in the mood for human eyeballs or a delicious bloodclot, you'll be set for the evening with Fear Factor Pop-Ups. Thankfully, it's also been marked down by 40%. Why oh why wasn't this selling at $5 for eight pops?
(Neither the eyeball nor the clot would be as disgusting as this real-life horror story of supermarket BBQ.)
3. Worst substitute for lunch or parenting: Oscar Mayer Lunchables Mess with Your Mouth Chicken Dunks
This product is a 3x3x3 cube of Bad Idea, and that doesn't even include the terrifying jaw and lips on the packaging.
Consider this: The central component is cold chicken nuggets mass-produced by Oscar Mayer, which means the "white meat" parts of factory farmed chickens that were too nasty for Meow Mix, ground to a paste and infused with rendered fat, salt, and chemicals to keep them stable and "fresh" at room temperature.
But that's just the beginning of the gastrointentinal terror. These are chicken "dunks," which means that a child is expected to plop the nuggets into a tub of "Ketchup with Added Starch" in order to apply extra salt and sugar, and then apparently to place the soaked meat turds on his or her tongue two at a time.
Then, just in case this tastes too natural for your juvenile tastebuds, you get a packet of "Sour Tongue Teasing Fizz" to sprinkle on the whole affair. Because lunch isn't about savoring food or supplying your body with nutrients for energy and health. No, it's about Messing with Your Mouth. It's about transforming everything you eat into a form of candy. And this product, which also include a pouch of Capri Sun fruit punch and some Starburst candies, Messes with Our Crippled Society's Failed Relationship with Food.
Bon appetit, suckaz.