July 21, 2013
Passing Pasta Off As Cheeseburgers
There are two, maybe three flavors which are decidedly American: Pizza, Ranch and Cheeseburger.
You may note, of course, that I used the word “flavor” and not “foods.” This was entirely intentional.
In the same way that one cannot call a grape flavored popsicle frozen grape juice, one cannot refer to Pizza flavored Pringles brand potato chips as “Pizza on a chip.”
Furthermore, what’s particularly “ranch” or even “cool” about corn chips with green flecks scattered on top?
Earlier this month a report found that kids were more willing to eat their veggies — even veggies they would normally refuse — if they were dunked in a dip. And, because the survey was completed in America, you can probably guess the flavors of dips used. I’ll give you a hint: Pizza and Ranch most definitely showed up.
It really shouldn’t be surprising, then, when companies begin to market foods with the flavor of another, more popular food.
Not a fan of the Taco Bell taco? How about a Taco Bell taco with a Doritos shell?
Don’t like plain ol’ potato chips? How about a FLAVOR BLASTED variety?
Don’t like canned Spaghettios? How about Cheeseburger flavored Spaghettios?
This is becoming a real thing, by the way.
As if spaghetti as we perceive it today isn’t already American enough, the fine folks at Campbells have decided to up the ante and give them the flavor of a cheeseburger.
According to USA Today, the Campbells company took almost a year refining and developing the sophisticated flavor profile of the new canned pasta. Make no bones about it, Campbells is going after your soft spot in releasing these things.
Since Cheeseburgers are an American pastime and favorite food, it’s not that surprising that other companies who don’t normally produce cheeseburgers (such as companies who produce canned pasta and soups) want to get a New York slice of that pie.
Because we associate cheeseburgers with comfort, companies hope that you’ll go looking to their non-cheeseburger-but-flavored-as-one product to feel all warm and toasty inside.
What is strange to consider, however, is that because Campbells and others have decided to make one thing taste like another thing, there are scientists running around who know now how to arrange together a string of chemicals meant to trick our brains into thinking we’re eating something close to a cheeseburger.
Passing off pasta rings as bread, meat, cheese and bread again sure seems like a real panic move, something a company does to make a quick buck or reinvigorate sales. The Campbells team wouldn’t get down on the specifics, saying only that sales were “steady” at about $120 million from 2011 to 2012.
Sounds like a lot of Oh-Ohs, but who knows?
This is also, by the way, the first new flavor of Spaghettios since the 1980s when Franco American debuted two more decidedly American flavors: PizzOs and CheesOs.
Image Credit: Campbell Soup Company