Food companies pair creativity with marketability -- along with a little luck -- to score "the next big thing" in food trends. There are some amazing ideas for new foods and drinks out there, but at the same time, some new products never really take off. Some aren't appealing to consumers, aren't interesting, or miss the mark for trends, but most are just plain not very good. Last week's golden child, Philadelphia bacon cream cheese, is probably one of the best "why did we not have this already?" new foods. Pepsi's intro of a back-to-basics craft soda, on the other hand, will probably turn out to be less popular than Crystal Pepsi (although if they up the kola nut extract, that would help in niche markets).
Here's a list of five recent food developments that probably won't work. Among the soon-to-be-gone new ideas are hangover-flavored pie, a fizzy granola bar, something about David Hasselhoff, and fake meat blood for vegans.
5. The Jack and Coke Pie
Here's a funny riddle: what's worse than having a puking Jack Daniel's whiskey and Coke hangover? Answer: getting that sick without ever getting to experience the fucked-up part of it. A presumably upstanding citizen named Amy posted a recipe for Jack & Coke pie on the Oh, Bite It! website last week, and it seems like only a matter of time before TGI Fridays co-opts this dreadful confection for their already questionable dessert menu. The pie consists of a chocolate/whiskey/Coke filling, Cool-Whip, and a Jack caramel sauce. I'm thinking if this is paired with the new tobacco-flavored vodka, it might make a night of honkey-tonk binge-drinking seem like fucking fun.
Go home, citizen Amy -- you are too sober right now to unleash this monstrosity on the world. And TGIF, seriously, I was joking; don't do this.
4. The McFried Ice Cream Pie
It's a known fact that McDonald's used to fry its pies, creating piping hot, golden, hand-held micro-pies that were absolutely as delicious as they sound. And it's a little known factoid that you can order a cup of vanilla soft-serve and cram a baked apple pie into it, creating a decent McDoo food hack. But there is currently an online petition asking McDonald's to offer a new McFried apple pie with the vanilla ice cream already in it, which might not be as popular as you'd think, since the mighty McDoo overlords have chosen to pretend they want to healthify their menu, as opposed to taking it in a more hedonistic direction.
If McDonald's is going to try its luck parsing out the advanced culinary technology needed to make ice cream stay frozen in their notoriously hellish-hot (and perpetually McNugget flavored) grease fryers, then more power to 'em, but a deep-fried salad burger seems more likely at this stage. 3. The Undead Hasselhoff Burger
Few foodie videos have the memorability of David Hasselhoff's infamous "drunken-dribbling-burger-failure" clip (don't be snooty -- we all saw it). Zombie Burger in Des Moines, Iowa has created a burger
shaming honoring Hoff's immortalized cheeseburger moment: the Undead Hasselhoff burger, a big pile of beef, pretzel-breaded bratwurst, mustard, beer Cheez-Whiz, and yes, more cheese. This foray into downtrodden celeb-kicking seems rather mean-spirited, because punishing Hoff for being Hoff (when sometimes being Hoff is its own punishment) might result in some sort of copyright infringement issue, and end up in a lucrative legal action, since Hoff could probably use the money to keep himself from actually working in a burger joint.
Let David Hasselhoff die in peace, already. The poor sod's career died a long time ago.
For more unlikely new food concepts, read on.
2. Popping Granola Bars
As if Pepsi couldn't come up with a concept less-marketable than craft soda (I'm telling them -- triple the kola nut extract, and I'll get interested quickly) the company is testing the consumer waters with granola bars containing carbonated candy (Pop Rocks) and probably banking on people wanting to buy and eat these, and not feed them to chickens to watch them fight. I suppose this is a good time to perma-dispel the myth that granola bars are nutritious in any way, but adding fizzy candy to them won't likely raise their profile so much as have consumers eager to buy more sodas to intensify the tooth-crackling effect.
If fizzy granola bars and Pepsi becomes the new go-to breakfast on-the-go for people who aren't online game developers or third-graders, then I will enter a state of intensive shock.
1. The Bloody Vegan Burger
Far be it for me to try and deny vegans and meatless enthusiasts a burger patty that doesn't taste like stale corn or mushroom scrapings, but fooling around with veggie blood like sci-fi just bought stock in the food industry is a little hard-to-swallow, literally and figuratively. The "Impossible Cheeseburger" was created by Patrick Brown, a biochemistry scientist working in genetic research (apparently the plant-manufactured blood is made from a molecule found in hemoglobin), and he and his company, Impossible Foods, are determined to provide the eating public with plant-based meats and cheeses that don't make eaters want to give it up and for a diet of boiled carrots.
But the real beef here is not the technology, but the idea that vegans want to eat things that taste like animal tissue and blood. A rare-cooked, blood-seeping burger patty could appeal to folks making a transition from meat to meatless, and people who are on vegetarian/vegan diets for health reasons rather than personal desire, but it's likely these new burgers won't be cheap (a single patty costs about $36 to produce right now), may not have mainstream appeal after the initial curiosity wears off, and could lack the staying power of successful vegan products already on the market.
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This whole sanguine affair might be too much, since every vegan I know would much prefer meatless tech to include meatless crumbles that are flavored like something other than salt, or meat-free meatballs that don't give them super-hero gas-blasting capabilities. Making vegetable blood a priority just seems like going around your ass to scratch your elbow.