11.15.2007

America's Favorite!

As I circled the high school cafeteria on a Saturday morning, double-checking that none of the hundreds of Standardized Testers in the room had gone back and finished bubbling a previous section, my eye was drawn to food. Not food, per se, but pictures of food. More specifically, pitches of food.

As in, sales pitches.

Turns out, many of the food items offered in this cafeteria are "America's Favorite" of that variety.

For example, SuperPretzel is America's favorite... well, it's not clear. Favorite pretzel? Maybe not. Soft pretzel? Frozen soft pretzel warmed under a heat lamp? We're not told, but I would love to see the research on this. Don't get me wrong. I love the SuperPretzel. Especially the wrestling ones.

As a seasonal alternative, you could pick up Tastee caramel apples, America's Favorite caramel apple. Their website also promises that they are the "World's Best!" Whoa.*

In said cafeteria's vending machine, they sold bags of something called Blair's Death Rain HabaƱero Kettle Cooked Potato Chips. They are, as you may know, "America's Favorite Spicy Chip!" Here is a brand narrowing the genre so tightly, that there is probably no one to dispute the "favorite" claim. What are my options? I may not care for Death Rain, but of all the other spicy chips available, I guess it's my favorite... It'd be like advertising "Frasier: America's Favorite Cheers spin-off!" What other competition is there? Though, I always said no one really gave The Tortellis a chance.

Man, that Jean Kasem...

I've decided to follow Blair's Death Rain's lead. I will create a sub-genre so specific that no one has taken the time to query: "what, I wonder, in this incredibly narrow field, is America's Favorite"? For instance:

America's Favorite Apple Cell Phone?
America's Favorite Ham-Flavored Soda?
America's Favorite Blog Dedicated To Preservation Of The Subjunctive Mood Which Never Mentions It After The First Post?

No, these have all got their markets cornered. I need something more original.
Maybe America's Favorite Spiked Jam. Not spiked, like with alcohol, but I'm thinking with real spikes. Not sure of the value-added benefit of spikes as yet, but I'm fairly certain that it can be labeled "America's Favorite!"

Another that fits the "And The Competition For This Is...?" category is something called "Unbridled," billed as "America's Favorite Equine Lifestyle Series."

Some Favorites, when you hear them, seem no-brainers. Like:
Starkist is America's Favorite Tuna.
Jeopardy is America's Favorite Quiz Show.

I know Chicken of the Sea is a tuna, but I would never argue it was as big as Charlie the Tuna. Big Tuna, indeed. But, here's the thing... Chicken of the Sea says that, while not "America's Favorite," it is "The Best." Which is the thing with calling yourself the favorite, right? It's often not a statement of quality so much as market share.

Now, here's one I might have to take issue with. Mahatma Rice is, apparently, "America's Favorite Rice!" Can this be true? I've never heard of it. Maybe it's a regional thing. But where's Uncle Ben's? Where's Minute Rice? These are the names that come to mind for me. Hmmm. I need to see the research on this one, as well.

Also:
Phantom is is America's Favorite Fireworks Company.
Yankee Baskets is is America's Favorite Basket Store.
Mama McNabb is America's Favorite Sports Mom.
Pam is America's Favorite Cooking Spray.
Laura Ashley
is America's Favorite Lifestyle Brand (whatever that means).
Jack Hannah is America's Favorite Zoologist**.
Kokomo Jr. was America's Favorite TV Chimpanzee.
Giorgio is America's Favorite Mushroom.
The Legends Rock is America's Favorite Rock-n-Roll Comedy Show.


*They also make something called the Tastee Jelly Apple, which is "a New York Favorite." Sounds nasty. And anyone that knows me will tell you I'm not too discerning when it comes to refined sugars.
**While
articles about him refer to him as such, I don't find where he actually calls himself this.