Monday, June 20, 2016

Bear up under it.

Okay, I promise, last snack-related entry for a while.


Something from the local Target: Gourmet Gummies from Project 7, birthday cake flavored. "Live. Give. Smile."

Project 7 is a brainchild of Tyler Merrick, an entrepreneur with a social conscience, they say. Just look at the back of this package:


Your purchase of Project 7 foods (and there are a number of them) plants trees, treats malaria, provides meals, educates dummies, etc. etc. Seems like a big responsibility for a little gummy bear, but they're bouncy.

A lot of things these days are supposedly flavored like birthday cake. Oreos has some birthday cake flavored cookies. Pop-Tarts tried it too. The first time I came across this phenomenon was at an ice cream stand that sold Perry's, and I saw one called Birthday Bash.

"What's that taste like?" I asked the girl.

"SOOOOO good!" she said.

"But... like what?" Meaning, did it taste like cake icing? Wrapping paper? Clowns?

"It's SOOOO good!" she repeated.

So I tried it. It was SOOOO good. Like a vanilla cake with icing. Not like clowns.

I therefore had high hopes for these Project 7 gummies. And I was crushed, because they tasted like the rubber stopper on a bottle of eye drops. Whuh?

At first I thought the lack of flavor was caused by their dedication to all-natural this and organic that, but as I gnawed on a second tasteless bear, it occurred to me: They just don't give a damn. The folks at Project 7 are not selling treats; they are selling ease of conscience. They can't or won't do the #1 job of a food manufacturer, which is make things people want to eat. They reminded me of government clock watchers and Soviet apparatchiks, soulless tools whose job is not to make something people will find useful or enjoyable, but whose job is to preserve their jobs and report on the number of reports reported. This candy is a waste of good calories, and an insult to bears.

I think I'm going on strike against companies that exist only to support their causes. Just as it's my standing policy not to give to charities that mail me unsolicited presents (tote bags or coins or whatever), so too will I not buy products from companies that try to bamboozle me with their good acts. You're not a blasted lemonade stand; you're a company. If you can't figure out a way to make a gummy candy that doesn't taste like Grandma's wart, you aren't an entrepreneur, you're a panhandler.

It's a tough call, because I like some of the Newman's Own stuff. Your thoughts would be appreciated. Meanwhile, watch out for those bears.
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