The best food marketing stunts of the year

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A comical oversized snack. A cocktail made with processed cheese. And it’s a fine dining restaurant for cat lovers.

In 2022, many restaurants, food makers, and at least one collective of artists tried to break through with their practical jokes.

These food stunts were often outrageous and sometimes disappointing. Sounds good”.

Here’s what caught our attention this year.

Over the summer, Kraft Heinz (KHC) unveiled new cocktails. The Vertini is a martini made with Velveta-infused vodka, olive brine and vermouth, served with Velveta-stuffed olives and Velveta-stuffed shells. The concoction was available for a limited time at his BLT Steakhouse in New York, Washington. DC, Charlotte, etc.

The drink was part of Kraft Heinz’s wider effort to revitalize the Velveeta brand after sales of processed cheese surged during the pandemic. You launched an advertising campaign, tweaked your logo, and sold cheese-scented nail polish.

Vertini made a splash, even though (or maybe because) I didn’t have the courage to try it.

One Washington Post writer said, “It looked like a mad cheese monster, with olive beaded eyes and a lopsided mouth with dripping velveta cheese rims.” Hoda Kotb, of The Today Show, reluctantly tried on air and was not a fan. “No,” she said, “no, girl, no.” Her co-host Jenna Bush Hager said it wasn’t bad.

This cereal is supposed to be eaten with orange juice.

Don’t get me wrong, this is not orange juice cereal. A cereal designed to be eaten with orange juice instead of milk. OJ maker Tropicana launched a limited-time honey almond cereal in May in honor of National Orange Juice Day.

The brand admitted that people might not be interested in the combination. “It may not be for everyone.”

One reviewer who tried the Franken Breakfast described it as “not bad,” adding, “I can’t imagine eating a bowl of this every day.”

Plus, she said it didn’t taste like it should, especially with orange juice.

Oscar May's

In August, Oscar Mayer, also owned by Kraft Heinz, launched the ‘Cold Dog’. This is a hot dog flavored popsicle. The item was sold for a limited time at pop bar locations in New York City, New Orleans, and more.

The idea was posted on Instagram by Oscar Mayer in June, asking his followers if the idea was “genius” or “stupid”. Comments on the post range from horrifying to intriguing. Enough people were interested to give Oscar Mayer the green light.

In a press release at the time, Oscar Mayer’s spokesperson Ann Field said, “After overwhelming fan excitement for our beloved cold dog, we’re bringing this hot dog inspired frozen pop to life. It was very easy to do

So what did it taste like? Pretty good, at least in the opinion of one reviewer of hers.

“I was never skeptical about how they could make hot dog popsicles tastier. And somehow, they managed to do it!” “The gelato is very creamy, with a strong smoky flavor that balances the delicate sweetness of the popsicle. A drizzle of sweet ‘mustard’ is more appropriate.” It tastes just like ice cream. ”

Big Cheez-It is 16 times bigger than a regular Cheez-It.

In late June, Taco Bell tested a product called “Big Cheez-It Tostada.” As the name suggests, it is a tostada based on Big Cheese It, which is 16 times the usual size. The chain also tested the “Big Cheez-It Crunchwrap Supreme” which contains a giant Cheez-It inside the wrap.

These items were available at one Taco Bell location for a limited time. Less than a week after its launch, Taco Bell reported on July 3 that the item had already sold out. “The Big Cheez-It Tostada and Big Cheez-It Crunchwrap are in such high demand that the limited offer is no longer available,” said the chain.

Reviewers who tried the item were mixed. “Very cheesy, hmm,” said one. Another concluded, “Not bad, just weird.” Some pointed out that Cheez-It, while it may be large, wasn’t strong enough to sustain the weight of the toppings.

Big Cheez-It was also used at Pizza Hut in 2019 when the pizza chain introduced stuffed Cheez-It pizzas. Limited-time offerings included “four grilled jumbo squares” stuffed with cheese or pepperoni and cheese, served with marinara sauce for dipping.

I need a bigger ship.

Unlike Big Cheez-It Tostada, Big Froot Loop was made without permission by artist collective MSCHF.

The loop weighs about 0.5 pounds, has 930 calories and recently sold for $19.99. According to MSCHF co-founder Daniel Greenberg, MSCHF tried to make Big His looping taste as authentic as possible.

Greenberg previously told CNN, “We look at things in culture and find ways to put a twist on them. The idea behind this project was simple and straightforward.” And the products released on December 19th are already sold out.

Kellogg, which makes the actual Froot Loops, was reluctant.

“The Kellogg Company is not affiliated with MSCHF and was not involved in the creation of The Big Fruit Loop.” told CNN in a statement. “The campaign does not accurately portray the Kellogg’s brand.”

“Given the trademark infringement and misuse of our brand, we contacted the company for an amicable resolution,” Bahner added.

a dish at

Over the summer, Fancy Feast asked people to answer the following question: What does cat food taste like?

The cat food maker briefly opened a restaurant in New York City in August called “Gatto Bianco by Fancy Feast.”

The restaurant’s cuisine is inspired by the Fancy Feast Medley, cat foods inspired by human foods such as salmon primavera and turkey florentine. According to a Fancy Feast press release, the restaurant’s menu was created by Fancy Feast’s in-house chef, her girlfriend Amanda Hassner, and Michelin-starred restaurateur Cesare Casella.

“Food has the power to connect us with others in meaningful ways and take us to places we’ve never been,” Hasner said in a statement at the time. “So does my cat.”

Hassner added, “From taste to texture to shape, Gatto Bianco’s food is prepared to help cat owners understand how their cats experience food.” According to OpenTable, the menu included grilled sea bass, spare ribs, salmon, and braised beef, while desserts included panna cotta, almond cake, and affogato.

A Mashable reporter dined at the fine dining restaurant and reported that “the food is delicious” and the cat-like atmosphere. complete with ornate cat wallpaper, Fancy Feast cloth napkins embellished with gold, and cat art (not art made by cats, but cat artwork, etc.).

The papa bowl is all toppings, no crust.

As a permanent addition to the Papa John’s menu, the no-crust, topping-only Papa Bowl isn’t technically a stunt.

But the menu offering was so polarizing when it launched in August that it had to be nodded.

The bowl was conceived to help combat pandemic-induced pizza fatigue by offering Papa John’s customers, for example, a pizza-adjacent option. We wanted Bowl to eliminate “reject votes” when restaurants were excluded because there weren’t enough options for everyone to do.

There are 3 types of bowls. chicken alfredo. Italian meat trio with pepperoni, sausage and meatballs. And garden veg. There is also the Build Your Own He option.

This announcement caused quite a stir.comedian John Stewart, who has repeatedly jabbed at Arby’s, The chain owed an apology Watch the Papa Bowl news. At least he said one YouTube reviewer panned the bowl and it was terribly slimy. However, some thought it was a good idea.

In an analyst call in November, Papa Johns CEO Rob Lynch said the bowl “has worked well and lived up to our expectations.”

— Zoe Sottile and CNN’s Jordan Valinsky contributed to this report.

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