Half lb. PB Cup - © Reese's

Fad Update: Sheer Madness Over ‘Bigger Is Better’ Bull

Any holiday seems like a good excuse for food product purveyors to launch something new (and hopefully exciting) to place their brands front, centre and top of the pack with consumers. So what does your average idea-impoverished marketing exec do in a drought?

This is lame. Really lame…

And it’s one of the oldest tricks in the book; so old that it doesn’t even rank as a trick anymore. With the Original Idea barrel empty, due to over-consumption during the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, marketing gurus have gone back to the Chapter-One fundamentals and unofficially declared this the year of ‘Bigger is Better.

Like they’ve been colluding

As if they’d all agreed to come out with their individual next-great-idea specials at the same time, a number of Fast Food and Snack brands have launched new/old products, attempting to get folks talking about their brands over the season of Excess.

And it happened in not just one month or one week; I counted the following ‘first sightings’ on ONE single day…

In the UK

KFC UK - Gravy - © 2020 KFC UKKFC Gravy Boat Burger: Note the Hash Brown ‘Gravy Boat’ right under the top Bun…

KFC is celebrating Gravy with a new, oversized Gravy Boat Burger. It starts with a pretty standard Chicken Filet Sandwich graced by minimal trimmings, to which is added a special Hash Brown Patty designed to contain a big dollop of ‘Gravynnaise’ Sauce. It’s described in the announcement I caught on another food blog as, “…a gravy-soaked feast that’ll leave you in pure bliss, as well as a need for extra napkins.

I have to ask: I’ll be generous and concede that this product may be paying homage to Christmas Dinner with the addition of Potatoes and Gravy. But why not just provide the Gravy on the side for controlled dipping, rather than supplying a huge, more-than mouth-sized Sandwich guaranteed to cause a hell of a mess when you bite into the Hash Brown and Gravy gushes? I also wonder if that’s the final, crowning thought the brand wants you to take away from the dining experience after eating one…

In Japan

Extreme Burger - © 2020 BK JapanBK’s new 1 lb. / 445 g Extreme Burger…

… Where they really didn’t eat that much Beef before foreign brands like Burger King arrived, BK has unveiled a new Bunless Burger featuring four x 1/4 pound Patties, Tomato, Lettuce, Pickles, Onions, and Cheese. The so-called Extreme Burger is outranked only by the Maximum Burger, which is the same thing, except with Buns, at a slightly higher price. The price, BTW, is about 3 times that of a Whopper in Japan.

I have to ask: This Burger would feed me for three meals. Who needs one of these? It’s a sheer food novelty stunt. And nothing to do at all with the Holidays.

At Sam’s Club across the U.S.

Reeses Half Pound PB Cup - new - © 2020 Reese'sReese’s new 3 x 1/2 lb. /225 g Peanut Butter Cups…

For those of you who don’t know, Sam’s Club is a special membership service of Walmart which often features low-low discount prices and special novelty products. As of now, it’s featuring totally excessive 1/2 lb. / 226 g Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. These Chocolate Bomb Behemoths come 3 to a box. A great Holiday Gift for the Reese’s fan on your list. Aside from the gargantuan size, the only thing that’s special about them is their green-trimmed box.

I have to ask: Why? Aside from the connection of the packaging colours to the Holidays, there’s nothing there to suggest that this product is special to the season. Another novelty stunt.

My take

Please note that Reese’s had already released special Green Chocolate PB Cups a couple of weeks ago, specifically for for the holidays: another reason to ask, “Why?”

Anyway, it’s already looking like a pretty bleak Christmas compared to those we’re used to. All the more desolate now, with no really new or awe-worthy Snack and Treat ideas on the store shelves…

~ Maggie J.