I enjoy grocery shopping not only because I love to pick out all the goodies that will compose my upcoming lunches and dinners, but also because of the unending line of new products that are always popping up – this is especially true around holiday time.

When I went to see Michael Pollan speak earlier this year, he said something that kind of blew my mind. He said that around 40% of the items in a grocery store are new each year. The not-so-hidden secret of the supermarket is that companies will do anything to move “new” product, whether that is giving a cracker has a new flavor, detailing the new and improved formula of a familiar peanut butter, or anything else.

Needless to say, some new products are more compelling than others.

Exhibit A: Chocolate Egg Nog

I admit that I have a weakness for the nog, and when I saw it for the first time last weekend, I knew that the holidays were really here. I love how its sweet thickness coats my pipes like a holiday-themed Pepto. Delicious. What I was less enthusiastic about was seeing an adulterated form of this seasonal nectar, spiked with chocolate. Yuk. There is a reason you have never seen a recipe with chocolate and nutmeg. Another unnecessary product.

Exhibit B: Pumpkin Spice Cream Cheese

I have never been a fan of anything but the original flavor here, with the possible exception of chive cream cheese. I realize that it is November, and by legal obligation, all food products must have a pumpkin flavor option, but enough is enough. Nothing involving pumpkin belongs anywhere near a bagel, and only the laziest slacker would use it in a pumpkin cheesecake. Fail, part deux.

Am I missing anything here? Do these products sound appealing to you?

Now there are a bunch of great seasonal products out there… so what holiday-inspired food do you particularly love? Which ones do you detest?

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3 Responses

  1. Kmitbu

    What?! First, I don’t think pumpkin cream cheese is a new product. My family has been purchasing it for many years. Second, it’s delicious.

    Third, did you try doing a Google search for chocolate and nutmeg? Because I’ve seen plenty of recipes that have chocolate and nutmeg in them.

  2. JT

    Sarah – now that is the next level – hot chocolate egg nog [shivers]…

    Kmitbu – you will notice in the post where I link to a bunch of chocolate/nutmeg recipes. I didn’t know they existed, but found out when I did a search before I wrote the post. It still doesn’t sound quite right to me.


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