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?