Nerds

  1. Tiny, waxy pieces of candy gravel
  2. Fun and easy way of ingesting car wax

Usage Example: “Did you put your mouth on this box of Nerds?”

Background:  All kids love to eat rocks. The trailblazing candy developers at Nestle banked on this premise when they created Nerds candy.

Today, Nerds are the top selling candy in the crowded “candy gravel” market. Nerds combine all the fun of eating handfuls of gravel, with the benefits of ingesting Turtle Wax. Nerds contain a substance called carnauba wax. This wax is commonly used in shoe polish and car wax. The public has long demanded that car wax enter the candy market, and Nerds is one of the products to make it happen.

Nerds are often sold in cardboard boxes with two separate compartments. This allows two flavors of Nerds to be packaged together. This packaging also invites kids to put their mouths on the box when eating them. Always assume that anyone offering you an open box of Nerds has already put their mouths on the box.

In the days following the initial release of Nerds candy, the public wondered how long it would take until Nestle decided to plaster Nerds all over a gummy rope. The answer is: way too long. Finally, the makers of Nerds caved to the inevitable and released the Nerds Rope. It was only a matter of time.

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Clamato Juice

  1. A mixture of tomato juice and clam juice…for some reason
  2. The answer to a question that no one ever asked
  3. Bottles of red liquid used to help grocery store shelves look full
  4. A real thing

Usage Example: “This tomato juice isn’t bad. I just wish it had more bivalve mollusk flavor. I need some Clamato.”

Figure 1 - Proof that Clamato juice actually exists. Note the small clam on the label.

Figure 1 – Clamato – Note the small clam on the label.

Background: The lack of shellfish in mass-produced fruit and vegetable juice is alarming. Thankfully, the people at Mott’s produce Clamato: one of the few fruit and vegetable juice products to include the flavor of clam.

Thankfully, Clamato eliminates the messy process of mixing clam juice with your favorite juice drinks at home. Everyone is tired of doing this. For years, I struggled with tiny funnels and tape, trying to mix the clam juice that my kids demanded, into their Capri Sun “Pacific Cooler” juice pouches. Now, I just send them off to school with Clamato. Thank you, Clamato.

With clam juice finally finding its way into fruit and vegetable juices, the market is now ripe for more garden-ocean juice combinations. Cranberry-Oyster, Grape-Squid, and Orange-Pineapple-Horseshoe Crab are flavors that we all can agree are long overdue.

Lucky Charms

  1. Magically delicious boxes of breakfast sugar
  2. Breakfast crack-for-kids which successfully redefined the word “marshmallow”

Usage Example: “Since eating a bowl of Skittles isn’t socially acceptable, I’ll settle for some Lucky Charms.”

Background: Lucky Charms is a breakfast sugar product sold by the General Mills food company. It is composed of delicious, sugary chunks of Styrofoam that are branded as “marshmallows,” and an unidentifiable filler product.

To most kids, Lucky Charms is the holy grail of breakfast cereals. Approximately 100% of kids have asked their parents to buy it for them at some point. However, relatively few parents agree to the deal. The cereal is called Lucky Charms, because kids who end up with a box feel like they have a winning lottery ticket – a lottery ticket that guarantees a prize package of several trips to the dentist.

Lucky Charms completely redefined breakfast. Before Lucky Charms, few people consumed bowls of sugar for breakfast. Now, this practice is commonplace. This innovation has greatly advanced the social acceptance of the leprechaun and elf communities.

Despite all of this, the most culturally significant contribution of Lucky Charms is the fact that it successfully redefined the word marshmallow. Lucky Charms claims to be full of marshmallows. Absolutely no one questions that this claim is true. However, upon closer examination, Lucky Charms is actually full of brightly colored, sugary chunks of Styrofoam. These chunks barely resemble marshmallows, but society has accepted that they are marshmallows. This shows the sugary power of Lucky Charms.

Lucky Charms is a magical part of a complete childhood obesity plan.

Cookie Butter

  1. Spreadable, pulverized cookies mixed with oils, creating a creamy delivery method for Type 2 diabetes
  2. A “hard butter” that users normally try after experimenting with gateway butters like Nutella
  3. A real thing

Usage Example: “The doctor says that my cookie butter levels are too high.”

Background: Cookie butter is a real thing. A really, real thing. This sugary, oily substance burst into the American consciousness as one of the more recent players in the now tightly packed butter market.

Figure 1 - Cookie Butter (Image credit: Trader Joe's)

Figure 1 – Cookie Butter (Image credit: Trader Joe’s)

The history of butters is complex. First, humans churned milk to form butter. Later, they created apple butter and peanut butter. After the invention of peanut butter, there were no new butters created for many years. However, in recent years there has been a butter renaissance. At the beginning of this explosion of new butters, other nuts were pulverized and substances like cashew butter and almond butter gained popularity.

Most butters created up to this point offered some level of nutritional value. However, everything changed with the next butter. The gateway butter for cookie butter is a substance called “Nutella”. Nutella is basically chocolate butter. It is a chocolate spread with a few pulverized hazelnuts in it, to con the public into thinking that it is a somewhat healthy-ish substance. But Nutella isn’t fooling anyone.

After more and more people experimented with chocolate butter, the door was opened for a butter that made no excuses for its bold lack of nutrition: cookie butter. Cookie butter is made by pulverizing cookies and adding oil until the desired consistency is reached. These viscous, oily cookies can be eaten with a spoon, mixed with ice cream or made into Nutella and cookie butter sandwiches. Cookie butter is an important part of any weight gain program.

For now, the world can enjoy cookie butter while it eagerly awaits the arrival Twinkie butter, Sour Patch Kids butter and marshmallow butter… Oh, Wait… We already have marshmallow butter.

Superfoods

  1. Heroic, crime fighting fruits and vegetables
  2. Horrendous marketing failure

Usage Example: “Blueberries are a Superfood… Let’s eat them.”

Background: In 2003, Dr. Oz called a group of outcast fruits and vegetables to his secret lair, deep within a dormant volcano in Iceland. These fruits and vegetables were not incredibly popular, but in the mind of Dr. Oz, they possessed super powers. At this Superfood Summit, he commissioned the Superfoods to fight crime and defend truth and justice.

Each newly minted Superfood was issued a cape, mask and tights. They were then dispatched to the far corners of the earth. Among them were: blueberry, kale, spinach and broccoli.

Dr. Oz then began a global marketing campaign, spreading the word about this new group of Superfoods. From the outset, his campaign was a disaster. In a bizarre turn of events, instead of assisting the Superfoods in fighting evil, people decided to eat them. They even created entire diet plans composed primarily of Superfoods.

A dejected Dr. Oz returned to his volcano in defeat. After the Superfood disaster, he turned his efforts to finding a “miracle weight loss food”, which he found approximately 3,795 times.

Lean Cuisine

  1. Low-fat frozen “meals” featuring approximately 6-8 bites of “food”
  2. Key step in the vending machine process

Usage Example: “I’m so excited! Someone stole my Lean Cuisine meal from the office refrigerator! Time to hit the drive-through.”

Background: Lean Cuisine meals are purchased with the best of intentions. Consumers are attracted by their low prices, healthy reputation, and the fact that their “Cooked White Meat Chicken” contains at least four ingredients.

Lean Cuisine meals are a popular lunch option at work. Eating a Lean Cuisine meal at work sends multiple non-verbal messages to coworkers:

  1. “I am trying to be healthy.”
  2. “I don’t really care what my food tastes like.”
  3. “I am perfectly fine with chicken that has the texture and taste of a sponge soaked in dishwater. Who am I to judge?”
  4. “I don’t need real grill marks on my “grilled” meat. I’m satisfied with these brown lines that were printed on the meat during the manufacturing process.”
  5. “In twenty minutes, I’ll be getting a Snickers from the vending machine.”

These non-verbal messages are being communicated during the “Lean Cuisine Cycle”. This cycle is a predictable and unforgiving process. It consists of the following steps:

  1. Decide to lose weight
  2. Purchase a Lean Cuisine Meal
  3. Reluctantly heat and consume a Lean Cuisine meal
  4. Endure gnawing hunger pains for approximately 15 minutes after finishing the Lean Cuisine meal
  5. Walk to the vending machine to purchase candy
  6. Consume candy
  7. Struggle with guilt over the candy purchase
  8. Resolve to not eat candy tomorrow
  9. (Go back to step 1 and repeat the cycle each and every day)

Little Caesars Pizza

  1. Purveyor of $6.00 pepperoni pizza-like products for office parties and birthday parties alike
  2. Marketing geniuses behind the innovative slogan: “Pizza, Pizza!”

Usage Example: “I forgot to cook something for the office pot-luck lunch. Looks like I’ll be stopping at Little Caesars Pizza on my way to work.”

Background: Aristotle first made the statement: “If one only has six dollars, his pizza options are limited.”

That statement is true. If you only have six dollars, you can always take home a frozen pizza from the grocery store; but that option takes too much effort for most Americans.

Another option is to visit that place between the laundromat and the empty storefront on the other side of town: Little Caesars Pizza. If you have six dollars, Little Caesars has a “Warm-N-Adequate” pepperoni pizza waiting for you. Little Caesars is a long-time supplier of picnics, office parties, and kids’ birthday parties. Any situation that calls for a pizza that is “OK, I guess,” calls for Little Caesars.

Little Caesars gained their desperate following through innovative marketing campaigns. They pioneered the innovative catch-phrase “Pizza, Pizza!” – uttered just like Caesar himself would have said it. They also named their breadsticks “Crazy Bread” for how truly insane you’d have to be to order them.

It is also important to note that Little Caesars has begun offering a pizza with a “bacon wrapped crust.” So, not only do they want to help you fulfill your desire for cheap and adequate pizza, but they are also apparently attempting to kill you.

Sweet Potato

  1. Starchy and slightly sweet root vegetable struggling with acute dessert envy
  2. Vegetable currently awaiting trial on multiple counts of sugar trafficking

Usage Example: “We just can’t have sweet potatoes without marshmallows and five pounds of sugar!”

Background: Desserts enjoy a special status in the dining experience. Everyone looks forward to dessert, and the sweet potato wants a piece of that action.

The sweet potato isn’t happy with its vegetable status. It sees itself as a boring, second-rate side dish. These self-image problems are what caused the sweet potato to begin its career as a sugar mule.

The sweet potato first sought to gain a piece of the pie market by jumping into a pie shell and smuggling some of that white powder with it. Large amounts of sugar are often found in desserts, so this move was largely overlooked. Sweet potato pie gained a small following, but it wasn’t enough to satisfy the sweet potato.

The sweet potato had loftier goals. It wanted to break through the wall that divides the main course and dessert. It studied the case of the cranberry – a tart fruit that successfully managed to smuggle large amounts of sugar into the main course as “cranberry sauce”. However, the scope of sweet potato’s plan was unprecedented. The sweet potato devised a scheme to preempt dessert, by offering dessert during the main course. Sweet potato planned to enter a casserole, smuggle in large amounts of brown sugar and cover itself in candy. Eventually, it convinced marshmallow to play the role of candy.

The job was complete. Sweet potato had smuggled dessert into the main course, and almost no one noticed. However, sweet potato was eventually caught, and is facing multiple charges in connection with its sugar trafficking.

If convicted, sweet potato could face 10 years of confinement as those nasty, unsalted sweet potato chips.

Bit-O-Honey

  1. Dense filler product for candy bowls and Halloween bags
  2. Tool used to extract fillings and other dental work

Usage Example: “We filled the candy bowl yesterday, and we are already down to nothing but Bit-O-Honey and Mary Janes.”

Background: Bit-O-Honey possesses unparalleled staying power in all mixed-candy situations. By all reasonable accounts, Bit-O-Honey candy ceased production in 1945. Since that time, Bit-O-Honey candy has been fiercely avoided, but still manages to be included as a dense, filler product in some mixed candy bags. There have been no reliable accounts of human ingestion of Bit-O-Honey since 1991.

In the late 1970s, a contingent of American dentists unsuccessfully petitioned the FDA to classify Bit-O-Honey as a dental tool. This petition claimed that Bit-O-Honey could quickly extract dental work. However, this claim was dismissed due to a lack of evidence. No evidence was collected, since no one was willing to actually eat Bit-O-Honey as part of a research study.

Individuals who are desperate enough to taste Bit-O-Honey will notice an unsettling fibrous texture to the otherwise rock-hard and impossibly chewy block. This texture is not only a result of the sawdust in the product, but is also due to the inescapable fact that 50% of the wrapper will stick to the candy every time it is opened.

Food Truck

  1. A large vehicle equipped to prepare and sell super-cool food
  2. A powerful hipster magnet

Usage Example: “I totally missed the ‘Kim-Castro Cuban-Korean Food Truck’ at the co-op today.”

Background: If a man’s morning routine includes putting on a tank top emblazoned with the words “Visit South Dakota”, spending at least 10 minutes waxing his handlebar mustache, and grabbing his hot-pink 80’s style sunglasses on his way to his vintage bike – science tells us that he will visit a food truck at some point within the next 24 hours. Food trucks are the most powerful hipster magnets known to man.

Prior to the advent of the hipster, food trucks primarily served inexpensive food to factory and construction workers. Today, food trucks serve expensive organic-fusion specialty food to the bearded masses.

Since food trucks move around from day to day, they will often use social media sites like Twitter to announce their daily locations.  This practice allows hipsters to engage in a game of hide-and-seek with their favorite food trucks as they travel the vintage clothing store and farmer’s market circuit. Hipsters love to play hide and seek, and since the owners of food trucks are overwhelmingly hipsters as well, they are happy to engage them.