Eggs Benedict - 300 - 2023 IHOP

April 1 Food Industry Jokes: Curiously Absent This Year?

Okay. I am aware that this past Saturday was April 1, the day the food industry traditionally pulls fast ones on its family and friends. But this year it passed really quietly, and I’ve seen no follow-ups…Has grim reality caught up with care-free innocence?

Ranchfuls Gummie Ranch Treats - © 2023 WelchsReal or an April Fools joke? You be the judge…

In recent years, the COVID crisis has put a damper on the traditional April 1 shenanigans. But there have still been a few gems which caused a lot of chatter when they appeared. Not so much this year. But a survey and some critical thinking has identified several possibilities…

Welch’s intos Dressing-filled Ranchfuls

Welches shocked fans of its Fruitfuls candies and Ranch Dressing with the announcement that it was offering Ranch-filled candies. ‘Saucy Ranch Snacks’ says the artist’s impression box graphic. But I’m not so sure.

At least one food blogger whose site I read regularly agrees with me, but I could find no other ‘independent’ reviews to bolster our suspicions. Either food writers have lost their senses of humour, or our patience with pranks have taken second or third place to the abiding shortages and price hikes we’re all struggling with.

But such a clash of flavours and styles I’ve rarely if ever run into before – prank or not.

IHOP adding ‘daynamic’ new Eggs Benedict

“Every decision we made for this menu was driven by our guests and their continually evolving feedback and needs so they can enjoy our menu items how they want them, when they want them,” says Chief Marketing Operator, Kieran Donahue.”

New Eggs Benedicct - © 2023 IHOPIHOP claims new menu items were demanded by customers in a recent survey of what
they should add to their permanent menu. I saw all the items as throwbacks
to older – antique – breakfast and luncheon menus. Hardly the new
and dynamic dishes the news release initially promised…

Other claimed changes include: a new family of Ultimate Steakburgers; a Fish and shrimp platter (‘big serving of Shrimps and Fish’ with a side of fries and tartar sauce); Fresh Berry or Chopped Chicken Salad; and a new Mango Iced Tea or Strawberry Lemonade Splasher.

Some of the announced new menu items sound as if they be legit. But, taken all together, it’s a motley, mismatched list of dishes which are anything but new and dynanic.

Another thing… The official product portrait shows burgers, not steak or even sliced beef sandwiches.

Anyway. Once again, no comment from other bloggers…

Del Taco sells signature sauces by the case

I thought, at first, “Okay. Good gimmick…” But on review I’m not so sure. $135 for 2,400 pouches of various sauces? I guess I never realized that Del Taco sauces were so sought after. Or are they?

One blogger describes Del Taco as, “Taco Bell’s hot, older cousin who just does everything a little bit better.”

Anyway, it’s only a couple of days after the April 1 announcement and no definitive debunking stories have appeared. But no details of the mega-sauce deal are there, either, as the news release says there should be. However, there are a couple of bulk hot sauce deals listed, including 100 packets, each, of a medley of all three sauces, for $17.99.

Breakfast Raman Cups might even be bogus

I posted a report on Nissen’s latest (claimed) new release: Maple Syrup, Sausage, Pancakes and Eggs Breakfast Ramen Cup a few days ago. I was highly critical of the idea. But that was before I realized April 1 was creeping up on me. Now it makes more sense to me – as an outrageous flavour-clash prank.

Brekafast Ramen - © 2023 - Nissin Cup Noodles

Foodbeast blogger Reach Guinto wanted to come off a skeptic – but, in the end, I think he wanted more to be convinced the product was legit: “As someone who likes to keep their buffet plate as divided as possible, my skepticism is tingling like Peter Parker’s Spidey-Sense. But then again, if a breakfast burrito can capture breakfast flavors all in one bite, why can’t ramen?”

Another cue that the Breakfast Ramen may be a prank is the statement in the official news release that, “Cup Noodles Breakfast marks the brand’s second limited-edition flavor, following the successful launch of Cup Noodles Pumpkin Spice.” And everybody knows what a joke Pumpkin Spice this-and-that – and everything – has become.

Still, Nissen has not released any follow-up release confirming the ‘new product’ an April 1 hoax.

The jury remains out

Anyway, I promised you an array of possible April 1 hoaxes from foodland. And the jury remains out on all of them.

If they aren’t hoaxes, I think marketing folks in all four companies made bad calls in each case to release something as outrageous as the above ‘new products’ as close to April 1 as they did.

If I got it right, that any or all of the above are April 1 jokes – albeit a day late and a few laughs short – Hoooo-Rah! If not, it means the therapy was a total waste.

Anyway, happy whatever, and see you back here tomorrow…

~ Maggie J.