March 15, 2008

We are all going to snack-chip hell

Recently, looking for a lunchtime accompaniment to my favorite sandwich, I ventured to the vending machine in my office and saw this:First of all, I have no idea why the colors are screwed up like that (I'm bad with the series of tubes), but yes, that is a bag of Burger Kind brand "potato snacks." Essentially, they're rectangular-shaped potato chips suffused with the eerily accurate flavor of Burger Kind fries and ketchup. I had no idea the fast-food monarch was extending itself into the world of packaged snacks, why now, but anything that'll help it take down the evil, Cthulu-esque entity that is McDonald's.

This is wrong on so many levels. I mean, during my years in Canada, I became intimately familiar with ketchup-flavored potato chips (and several trips to England have introduced me to far stranger varieties of crisps—T-bone steak, prawn cocktail, chicken and stuffing). But these things tasted way, way too much like greasy, lard-encrusted sticks of fluffy potato that you buy to accompany your nine-piece Chicken Tenders.

And then, the text on the back of the bag:This is demented. When Burger King incorporates Chinese cosmology into the art of selling vending-machine snacks, you know we're in trouble. But I wonder: Are there advertising agencies that consider this savvy? The way to appeal to that desirable snack-consuming youngster demographic is to get mystical and philosophical about it, in a regular-jerk-at-the-end-of-the-bar sort of way.

Anyway, they were ridiculously delicious. I bought another bag three days later.


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