It's always exciting to discover new flavor combinations and new food products in the aisles of grocery stores. Unfortunately, some companies have taken popular food fads one (or two) steps too far. Products such as "Mac and Cheetos" or "Seaweed Pringles" are anything but appetizing and are frankly just laughable. It's not too difficult to find these ridiculous products on the shelves of grocery stores as companies continue to try to invent the "next new food fad" or the "hot new food trend." It's almost as though companies are willing to throw together any two foods so long as it's physically possible to do so. Stuffing chocolate sauce into a burger is physically possible, but that certainly doesn't mean it's a good idea. What happened to enjoying the classic snacks? What happened to using common sense to create new (but sensible) food products?
Discovering interesting products like "pumpkin-spice lattes," "beet brownies," and "red velvet Oreos" seems to put a smile on our faces (and makes our stomachs hungry for more). These products are certainly unique, but the flavor combinations are still reasonable and appetizing. All in all, it's safe to say that creativity in a kitchen does have an endpoint (and not all ingredients will make the perfect match). Some companies have mastered the ability to be creative enough to create a delicious bite while still being sensible enough to be appetizing. Others, however, have gone overboard with their creativity and have left us laughing at their ridiculous inventions…
20 Kale, Pear, Banana Ice Cream
Over the past few years, kale has earned itself a "superfood" reputation, and food companies have started to emphasize the use of kale to make their products appear healthier. Unfortunately, some companies have taken the “kale trend” a little too far. The intention of this product isn’t so bad—at least they’re promoting healthy choices, right? But let’s be honest—if you’re going to have ice cream, you might as well get an indulgent flavor and enjoy it, right? I mean, if you’re going to spend money on a treat, you might as well get a triple chocolate fudge ice cream cone or a cookie dough sundae. Save the kale for a wholesome lunch salad or a healthy chicken dinner—leave the ice cream alone!
19 Japan Honey/Mustard/Chocolate Burger
Honey and mustard is a delicious combination to spread on top of a piece of grilled chicken or a ham sandwich. Honey and chocolate admittedly go pretty well together in a dessert. But combining honey, mustard, AND chocolate for a burger topping? Now that’s ridiculous. A burger chain in Japan called “Lotteria” sold this chocolaty burger for the month of February in 2014. I understand the attempt to incorporate chocolate into a recipe for a Valentine-inspired meal, but I’m not sure how I’d feel if I got this wild burger for my Valentine's Day surprise. Maybe leave the chocolate-inspired recipes for the pastry shops—burgers are good enough as they are!
18 Kale Littles
Once again, the kale theme has been taken a little too far. The company “Dr. Praeger’s” created this product in an attempt to convince kids to eat their vegetables. To make the product appealing to children, the company made the “Kale Littles” into the shape of cute little “gummy-bear-shaped” bites. Trust me, these are no gummy bears—and I don’t think they’re fooling the kids either. The color looks a little questionable (the green is slightly off-putting for a potato treat), and the kale isn’t exactly “hidden” too well. Stick with serving your children a yummy fruit salad or one of these other healthy snack options instead!
17 Charms Cereal Marshmallows
I can’t really decide whether this product is funny or outright genius. Whoever decided to sell just the marshmallows alone was really thinking. Instead of saving all the marshmallows for the last bite, you can now have a spoonful of them for EVERY bite. Forget about the boring ‘ol grain cereal—who needs the grains anyway? All we need in the morning is a big dose of sugar, right? The little kid in me is dreaming of folding them into a vanilla ice cream, baking them into cupcakes, or using them as a delicious topping for pancakes or waffles. The opportunities are endless, and we thank the makers of this product for their genius idea!
16 Avitae Caffeine Water
Need some coffee but don’t want to worry about the inevitable brown stain on your work documents? Bam—this product has you covered. In case the 4 cups of morning coffee weren’t quite enough, this water bottle has a secret dose of caffeine mixed inside. For all the caffeine lovers of the world, this might be your savior to get you through the workday. Better yet, for all the people who need some caffeine but can’t stand the bitter coffee taste, this “special water” has you covered. Instead of having to go through the bitter coffee taste, you can now get the same results (without the bad breath and stained teeth)!
15 Onion Ring Mints
I’m pretty sure these so-called “mints” are a little confused—aren’t mints supposed to make your breath smell good? There’s nothing quite like having the taste of onion rings lingering in your mouth after finishing a meal. I’m sure your partner would get a nice surprise when they lean in for a goodnight kiss and get a lovely waft of onion rings—yikes. I’m not sure exactly what these treats were intended to do, but I think we can all agree that they certainly shouldn’t be called “mints.” I guess maybe someone somewhere has a special liking for the scent of onion rings—and maybe this would be the perfect little gift for them?
14 Oh Ryan’s Potatoes
Yummmm who wants a good ‘ol potato?? Wait a minute… These might not be the type of “potato” you were expecting. Oh Ryan’s Potatoes come in a nice little packet—but when you take a bite, they’re actually a sweet treat. These “potatoes” are actually a mound of coconut cream fondant wrapped in cinnamon (to look like the outside of a potato). My question is: why call it a potato? The coconut mound rolled in cinnamon would sell itself—and the potato theme is frankly confusing. The good news is, if you get these for your friends, they’ll be in for a sweet (and unexpected) surprise!
13 Candwich (Canned Sandwiches)
Some things should just never be canned—and full sandwiches are one of those "things." Candwiches are literally canned sandwiches that come in multiple different flavors. In case spreading some pb&j on two slices of bread was too much effort, you can now buy them in a can. With a spin of a simple can opener, out pops a semi-squished peanut butter and strawberry jelly sandwich. The company also sells BBQ chicken canned sandwiches, and peanut butter and grape jelly sandwiches. It's a little embarrassing to imagine that you can technically have a complete meal from a can—just add a can of coke and some canned brown raisin bread for dessert. Together, it’s truly a gourmet meal.
12 Canned Brown Bread
As mentioned above, some things should just never be canned. This bread is another item that's much better off being sold outside a can (and in a regular bread loaf). I’m not too sure what makes this canned bread last so long, but I think I’d rather not know. The worst part about this product is that when you take it out of the can, the bread comes out looking like a can. The same circular indents are in the bread, and there’s a slight “glossy” look from whatever chemicals were on the inside—yikes! I know cooking can sometimes be a pain, but please, let’s all agree to at least buying a regular loaf of bread.
11 Ranch Dressing Soda
Someone out there must have an extreme obsession with ranch dressing to have the idea to transform it into a drink. Who would ever voluntarily want to take a swig out of a bottle of ranch dressing? I kind of hoped this was a joke when I first came across the product, but with a little more research, I found out it was indeed a real thing. A company by the name of “Lester’s Fixins Sodas” sells this wild soda flavor along with others like bacon, buffalo wing, sweet corn, pumpkin pie, and peanut butter and jelly flavored soda. Here’s the real test—which is better: the drinkable peanut butter and jelly sandwich or the canned version?
10 Seaweed Pringles
I know Pringles has some pretty wild flavors, but seaweed is taking things one step too far. Sushi is certainly a trendy food, and many people love the unique flavors of seaweed and rice, but that doesn’t mean it belongs in a chip! Pringles even added a few more flavors to their collection, including grilled shrimp, lemon and sesame, and soft-shell crab. Maybe their goal was to inspire you to make your very own “homemade sushi” by mixing a few of these flavors together. I think I’ll just stick to the traditional sushi with real rice, fish, and vegetables—yum!
9 Jello Salad
When you think of jello, what comes to mind? A dessert? A sweet treat? A weird texture? A childhood favorite? Or what about a salad? Ummm, yeah—salad and jello aren’t exactly a popular combination. Whoever invented this weird pairing must’ve been really dedicated to eating healthily. Instead of simply indulging in a small portion of normal sugar-filled jello, someone thought it would be a better plan to stick some vegetables in there. Some recipes for jello salad call for ingredients such as mayonnaise, carrots, and even cottage cheese. These ingredients get mixed together with gelatin to create a "salad" that jiggles when you touch it—ew.
8 Mac and Cheetos
I guess there isn’t quite enough processed cheese flavor in a bag of Cheetos or a package of Mac and cheese alone, so someone decided to pair the two up. The cleverly named “Mac and Cheetos” snack comes in two flavors: regular and flamin’ hot. If you hadn’t guessed by the name, these little snacks are literally made up of a Cheeto that's been stuffed with a Mac and Cheese pasta similar to that of Kraft Dinner. What should you pair it with? How about a big ‘ol bowl of spray cheese or Cheez Whiz dipping sauce? Surely, there can never be too much fake cheese, right?
7 Chickenless Nuggets
Ummmm... what? Chicken nuggets really only require one ingredient: chicken. How can you have a “Chickenless Nugget”? Wouldn’t that just leave you with the breading? A "Chickenless Nugget" is simply made up of some sort of meat substitute (like soy protein, whey, or tofu) that's shaped and breaded to resemble a piece of chicken. I get the whole “it tastes like chicken but it isn’t” idea, but the name “Chickenless Nugget” makes no sense. Make it easier for all of us, and just call it “fried tofu bites” or “breaded vegan snacks.” Leave “Chicken Nuggets” for the fast-food chains (and the real chickens). "Chickenless Nuggets" are not a thing—and they never should’ve been.
6 Meat-Free Haggis
A lot of people dislike the thought of haggis (and I’m pretty sure it’s not exactly a “crowd pleaser”). The Scottish dish is essentially a pudding consisting of sheep organs (heart, liver, lungs, etc.), stomach lining, onion, oatmeal, and spices. I don’t know many people who eat this dish on a regular basis, and I can’t imagine that someone who doesn’t eat meat would beg for a meatless version. A meatless version consists of blended vegetables, oatmeal, seeds, and spices. It doesn’t sound too bad looking at the ingredients, but why in the world would the company name it "Vegetarian Haggis"? The word "haggis" usually isn’t one that stimulates an appetite, and I think they’d be better off just naming it a "vegetable spread."
5 Spinach Muffin Starbucks (Hong Kong)
There are many different types of muffins on the market for those who are a little health conscious. There seem to be so many different vegetable-inspired muffins, including sweet potato, tomato, pumpkin, beet, and banana-spinach. The problem here isn’t exactly the idea of a spinach muffin—it’s the color! The vibrant green color is just funny to look at (and not very appetizing). It reminds me of a St. Patrick’s day dessert (only, it wasn’t intended to be for St. Patricks day…). The slimy green color isn’t the most appealing shade for a muffin, and I think I’ll stick to the sweet potato or pumpkin flavors for a healthier muffin choice!
4 Cheddar Cheese Whales
Some companies really have no boundaries (or pride) when they produce new items. Clearly, someone noticed that Goldfish snacks were popular and thought his or her company could jump on board. Unfortunately, these “Whales” snacks ended up being a sad attempt at replicating the yummy Goldfish crackers. The company “Stauffer’s” surely isn’t fooling anyone with their cheesy “Whales” snacks. “Whales” only come in two different flavors—white cheddar and orange cheddar—whereas Goldfish come in a variety of flavors ranging from “Xplosive Pizza” to “S’mores.” The “Whales” cheese-flavored treats may look like Goldfish, but they'll certainly never replace our childhood favorite.
3 Colgate Frozen Meals
This seems suspicious… I’m not sure I want a meal made by the same company that makes my toothpaste. I never had the opportunity to try a Colgate dinner, but all I can think of is the distinct flavor of their minty toothpaste. Colgate sold frozen meals that featured chicken and vegetables and beef lasagna. Honestly, I’m imagining biting into a juicy minty-fresh piece of chicken or a mint-flavored beef lasagna—ew. I think it’s best that Colgate took these questionable dinners off the shelves and away from their customers. Their toothpaste is good, but their meals are likely ones that we’d wanna spit out!
2 Pumpkin Spice Spray-On Spice (Seasoning Spray)
This pumpkin-spice trend has gone on far too long—and this product has taken things WAY too far! Now, you can enjoy a pumpkin-spice flavor on any food you could imagine. Craving a pumpkin-spice meatloaf? Or, what about a pumpkin-spice grilled chicken? Pumpkin-spiced rice and beans, anyone? It’s clear that the Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte has started a trend, but companies need to back away from the temptation to “pumpkinify” every one of their products. Please—let’s leave the Pumpkin spice for lattes and desserts. I don’t think anyone really needs (or wants) a spray-on pumpkin-spice for their daily meals (unless, of course, it's a gag gift).
1 Marmite Products
Anyone craving a big ‘ol spoonful of marmite? Thought not… Marmite is definitely a controversial topic, and it seems that people either “love it” or “hate it.” Even if you love the flavor, it’s usually enjoyed on a piece of toast or in a sandwich—not on chips and certainly not in breakfast biscuits or cereal bars! Keep marmite in the spreads and sauces section of the grocery isles—far away from breakfast goodies and late-night snacks. Let’s be honest—can you remember a time when someone said, “I could really go for some Marmite right now” after a night out? I didn’t think so…