All That and a Bag of Monosodium Glutamate

As consumer tendencies have shifted (or taken a violent shove) toward wholesome ingredients and clean preparations, demand for snack foods, prepackaged desserts and other processed crap has decidedly decreased. Think about it, when products like popchips, Food Should Taste Good and Pirate’s Booty are dominating store shelves (not exactly “health food,” mind you, but at least the ingredients are identifiable), who’s opting for a bag of oily, artery-clogging potato chips naming a laundry list of additives and preservatives like sodium caseinate, maltodextrin and disodium phosphate? Not this girl.

Lately though, major snack food companies have been responding to their supermarket shortcomings with over-the-top marketing initiatives, hoping the flash and pander will lure shoppers back into the processed-pantry-item fold. See, for example, Doritos Locos Tacos – the latest hit under Taco Bell’s belt – or Lay’s recently launched “Do Us a Flavor” competition calling on all Americans to help create its next chip flavor for some hefty prize money (one million smackers). And now, with ambiguous seasonal flavors like cinnamon and nutmeg catching fire, Pringles is capitalizing by rolling out a limited edition line featuring Pumpkin Pie Spice, Cinnamon & Sugar and White Chocolate Peppermint. I’d rather eat chips of lead paint.

Despite the obvious intentions of their efforts, I do have to hand it to Frito-Lay and Kellogg’s – the humble potato chip hasn’t been this buzzworthy since the mid-90s Olestra controversy!

Posted by Abby

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