Is DiGiorno Pizza’s “Wyngz” the WORST product name ever?

wyngzWell, probably not. But it’s up there, that’s for sure. As Steven Colbert explains, the name is the result of a horrible combination of Federal regulation and Kraft’s desire for something trademarkable™. According to the Feds, if a “wing-shaped” or “bite-size appetizer product” doesn’t contain any “wing meat” it cannot be labeled as a “chicken wing.” And Pizza and Nuggets sounds like a kids meal. Memo to the fine folks at Kraft’s marketing department: You really didn’t need to ™, ®, or © the name. No one else will ever use it.

Here’s another issue: How do you order one of these? (We’ll leave the question of why for another day.) Is it a Wyng™? Or is Wyngz™ itself the singular and the plural is Wyngzes™? Also, these are described as “boneless Wyngz™.” Does that mean there is a version with a Wyngz™ bone still in it?

Taco Bell goes retro with “Where’s the beef?” defense

Want to know when you’ve lost the PR battle? When you get headlines like this:

Taco Bell Defends Beef, Calls Suit ‘Bogus’

tacobellTaco Bell’s real problem is that this lawsuit doesn’t sound that outlandish. It just confirms a lot of people’s secret suspicions – whether true or not. Taco Bell’s brand promise is cheap, pseudo-Mexican-themed food. Nobody looks at them and thinks, “Good food.” They think, “Inexpensive, filling and no I don’t really want to know what’s in it.” Even the company’s defense plays into this. Chihuahua HQ has put out a press release saying,

Our seasoned beef recipe contains 88% quality USDA-inspected beef and 12% seasonings, spices, water and other ingredients that provide taste, texture and moisture.

“88% of our meat is actually meat. No, really.” You’re not going to win a lot of hearts and minds with that one guys.

What the company needs to do is go with this instead of fighting it. How about an ad campaign with a Lenten theme – “Taco Bell, perfect for meatless Fridays.” Or, “Taco Bell – Fast food for vegetarians.”

Pumpkin pies follow Eggos on to endangered foods list

It looks like a grim winter for Americans who will now have to get through the coldest months without two of their favorite food groups.

Nestle, which owns the Libby’s brand of pumpkin pie and announced this week that heavy rain has hurt its pumpkin farms in Morton, Ill., to the point that it will not pack any more pumpkins this year.

And it’s not just our poor underprivileged industrial food producers being hurt by this. In case anyone cares, there are reports that mere people are also being effected.

“Our calculations indicate that we may deplete our inventory of canned Libby’s pumpkin as we approach the Thanksgiving holiday,” said Paul Bakus, vice president and general manager of Nestle Baking.

Damn. Just as I was poised to get rich off my pumpkin pie with Eggo crust recipe. Maybe next year.

UPDATE

I agree with Mister Impatient’s comment (below) and sense an attempt to drive up the price in both the pumpkin and Eggo markets by creating a fictitious shortage. As evidence I offer this picture of shelves at my local supermarket overflowing with Eggos!

I CALL SHENANIGANS!!!