Recently, Haagen-Dazs released its “Spoon Vege” flavors in Japan featuring vegetable-flavored ice cream (the two flavors to debut thus far are tomato-cherry and orange-carrot). These are the press releases that accompanied the debut of these dubious creations in the marketplace (honestly, who fell asleep at the product development wheel?): “Tomato Cherry combines the natural sweetness of tomato with the fruit flavor of cherry, which should accentuate the rich taste of the tomato,” along with “Orange Carrot takes the gentle flavor of carrot and adds to it the fresh citrus taste and scent of orange, giving the carrot a sophisticated and refreshing twist.” Don’t you just love all this super-fancy PR lingo that almost convinces you it makes sense but not quite? Especially when they’re translated from one language to another, without the hawk-like attention to detail that proper translation demands. Just take a walk through LA’s Little Tokyo, where you’ll be bombarded by all kinds of positively adorable stationery that feature slogans that make so grammatical sense whatsoever.
This new line of ice cream is supposed to healthier, containing only 8.5 percent milk fat (which is around half the milk fat content in regular Haagen-Dazs ice cream. In retrospect, these aren’t the strangest ice cream flavors to ever appear on the market. There have certainly been weirder ones, from Viagra ice cream (created by an Italian entrepreneur) to chicken wing flavor and squid ink concoctions (and in case you were wondering, the latter two are from Japan). While I don’t foresee the Haagen-Dazs flavors being the most popular ones at the store, I think they’ll certainly fare a lot better than the following food ideas that just straight up failed.
The McPizza – Back in the ‘80s, McDonald’s decided to go Italian because they wanted to give their customers more variety, hoping they’d decide to eat there more often. The fast food retailer added lasagna to the menu, along with spaghetti and the McPizza. People love McDonald’s and they love pizze, so why on earth wouldn’t this idea work? Due to the fact that the pizza ovens took a long time to make the pizzas, the “fast food” was no longer fast, which led to longer waiting times. Ultimately, this idea kicked the bucket.
Reddi-Bacon – Created by the Reddi-Whip brand, bacon that cooks in a toaster sounds like a dream come true, right? Wrong. Even though the concept was loved by many, the execution simply did not go as planned. The big issue was the fact that the grease in the packages would leak, leaving a pool of grease at the bottom of one’s toaster which created a major fire hazard. Not to mention that it was impossible to clean! Guess we’ll just stick to Reddi-Whip cream in a can for now.
Colgate Kitchen Entrees – This goes to show that even if you’re a major brand name on the market, you’re not always guaranteed success in every venture. Or if the product that you’re creating is in a completely different category from what you normally sell, it might be in your best interest to create a new name under your company’s umbrella – just to spare confusion and weird associations. Colgate’s marketing department didn’t keep this in mind when they launched a series of ready-made dinner entrees with the Colgate label attached to them. I hate to say it, but I don’t care how good a product is – you could offer me a filet mignon steak dinner, but if it’s made by Lysol or Ajax, I’m not touching it. Needless to say, consumers weren’t fans either and immediately rejected the Colgate dinner idea.
Coors Rocky Mountain Spring Water – Beer and water are both awesome, but that doesn’t mean that they should run off into the sunset together and have a hybrid child – which is exactly what they tried to do. Coors tried to market and sell bottled water from the Rocky Mountains with the Coors label on the front, and people were not having it. My guess is that certain hopefuls bought the water by accident, assuming that it had alcohol in it. They were most likely disappointed when they discovered (eight bottles later) that they were still stone-cold sober. But hey, at least they were hydrated!
Doritos 3D – Okay, am I the only person who is seriously bummed that this product is no longer on shelves? This was one of those things that was everywhere, in all the commercials, and then out of the blue it just vanished. This product was launched in the mid-2000s and consisted of air-filled Doritos that came in several flavors and even included a sexy advertising campaign featuring Mario Lopez’s girlfriend at the time. There wasn’t a specific explanation for this one – it simply just didn’t work out. Cue the tears.
Crystal Pepsi – Inspired by the success of the Ivory Soap brand who redesigned their packaging and came out with a clear bottled version of their soap, PepsiCo decided to follow suit. They released a clear, caffeine-free version of their signature soft drink, which was well-received by test markets in 1992 – although when it was released nationwide, the response was the exact opposite and the product was discontinued just a year later.
Cosmopolitan Yogurt – Another super strange attempt at creating a hybrid product. Everyone’s favorite women’s magazine (yes, that Cosmopolitan) decided to launch its own line of yogurt. The attempt was short-lived, however, as the product was yanked off shelves in less than two years. Sorry guys, but not everyone can have the widespread success of the Cronut.
Bottled Water for Pets – Let’s not forget our beloved pets! The makers of Thirsty Cat! And Thirsty Dog! tried to market bottled water to pet owners in the hopes of convincing them that their pets needed to drink Crispy Beef and Tangy Fish-flavored water. While this was a cute idea, it never managed to catch on, although I must admit, I would totally buy a bottle for my cat. But then again, I’ll buy her anything. #crazycatlady