Popeyes Chicken Sandwich - © Busines Insider

Post Holidays: ‘The Most Boringful Time Of The Year!’

How many times did you read today’s headline before you clicked to what was fundamentally wrong with the grammar and syntax? It’s kind of like the weather these days and – Alas! – The Food News. Boring! This morning marked the first time in more than 2,200 daily posts to this blog that I was stumped!

Mystery OREOS - © OREOS - NabiscoBroke their own previous record for new flavours released
last year: On track to break the new record in 2021…

I have a ritual every morning, even on weekends, in which I tour a select list of Food News sources for the best in ideas to share with you here on the Fabulous Food Blog (FFB). It’s usually almost a contest between viable options to see which will emerge as the best bet. But this morning, for the first time ever, I’ve come up dry. Then I noticed something that constitutes a post idea of its own…

The Holidays are proclaimed ‘The most wonderful time of the year’ in a popular latter-day seasonal song. I guess it’s only fitting that they’re followed directly by the most boring time. Here are some of the pitiful headlines that have passed across my usually reliable Food News ‘feeds’ over the past couple of weeks.

Annual surveys of what was big last year

Might as well lump in with this one what is/will be ‘trending’ for this year. This is traditionally a no-fail option to help fill in the vacuums in most news categories this time of year. Except that this year, there’s nothing new in those stories, either. Take the usual old standby ‘Our Trend Picks for the Coming Year’: An amazing 9 out of 10 items featured have already been covered here in this Blog, some as long as two years ago! Same deal with the usually tantalizing ‘What we’ll be eating 10/20/30 years from now’ rundowns. The vast majority are repeats from similar stories over the past couple of years. Apparently, we’ll all – still – be eating insects, 3D-printed foods, fake Meats and Plant-based Proteins. I, for one, don’t need – much less want – to be reminded.

Big dining trends, breaking NOW!

Nothing from the home market. The ‘best’ stuff of this ilk I’ve seen in the past month comes from China, where Fast Food marketing geniuses are test-marketing new Pizzas, one with Stuffed Crust knobs emulating little Beef Wellingtons and the other proclaiming itself a Korean-style ‘Hot Pot’ Pie. Right.

More of the same, for a limited time

A not-so-gala cavalcade of old limited-time menu items coming back for reprise limited-time menu runs. If they were really as good as that, and as popular, how come they’ve never been put on the ‘permanent’ menus?

Repeated / reheated online specials

Just like the period immediately pre-holidays, the big Fast Food chains are recycling the same old ideas for promoting their new (or not-so-new) ‘deals’ in what appear to be ongoing-unless-or-until-successful campaigns to popularize their mobile and online ordering systems. Even though the advantages to the consumer during the latest COVID-19 lock-down are obvious, it seems that folks have reached a saturation point for these ‘deals’, at least for the time being.

All aboard the Fried Chicken Sandwich Express!

Now that all the first-line, top-tier Fasty Food chains have come aboard with Fried Chicken Sandwiches (most fundamentally indistinguishable from the Original Chick-Fil-A and Popeye’s sammys) have added one of their own to their permanent menus, second-tier chains are following suit. If anything qualifies more for a mega-trend during this idea-wasteland of the early 2020s, that simple Sandwich does. What do people find s0 irresistible about a nicely-Breaded, Deep-fried Chicken Breast Sammy on a premium Bun with only Lettuce, Mayo and Pickles in support? Maybe it’s that fundamental simplicity – something that we haven’t seen on the Fast Food scene for some time.

Minor stories we really didn’t need

OREOS, we’re told in breathless pants, set a record last year for releasing 32 new limited-time flavours,  some in singles, others in packs, like slavering sled dogs. The news this month? They’re on line to meet or beat their own record in 2021. Yawn.

New or repeat releases of Sugary Cerial / Salty Snacks crossovers and mash-ups are also all the rage this month. What month are they not, these days?

New Coffee Sphere ideas

One of which I actually found interesting, potentially viable and even, possibly, fun. Somebody (story did not say who) is experimenting / prototyping new Coffee ‘Coffee Bytes’ Sugar-coated confection cubes. ‘Ever wished you could carry a sweet coffee energy hit in your pocket?’ The possibilities are endless. However, we don’t know if the stuff is gum or Gummy-consistency, or what. Nor are we told when the final product might actually hit the market. *SIGH*

My Take

What a mess! The ‘news wires’ are almost embarrassing to read these days. How long can this ‘fake news’ charade continue? All I can guarantee is, I’ll never waste space on such drivel here on the FFB – unless it’s to send warnings about new assaults on our intellects by desperate Fast Food ‘brain trusts’…

~ Maggie J.