Thursday, January 20, 2011

Pizza Snacks: Goldfish Mix-Up Adventures Xtra Cheesy Pizza

This morning as I was shaking the accumulated layers of junk out from
the bottom of my backpack (is that gross? At least I clean it once in
a while), what should I discover but this lovingly-preserved package
of Goldfish ™ Xtra Cheesy Pizza Mix-Up Adventures crackers. Although
the bag was mercifully empty, its discovery whisked me back many
months to the moment when I first crunched down upon these cheesy,
salty snacks. Yes, I remember it all very clearly. They tasted…kind
of like pizza. Like, on a scale of 1-10 where 10 tastes like pizza
and 1 does not taste like pizza at all, they were probably about a 5.
Or maybe a 4.

Although this "pizza-inspired product" obviously isn’t that great – I
wouldn’t go out and buy more – it does engage with some important
themes in contemporary American culture. Including: the gender
politics of snack food mascots; stereotyped representations of
Italian-American heritage; the commodified discourse of the “Xtreme”;
the limits of brand extension in a market saturated by
barely-distinguishable spin-off products. I’ll let the images speak
for themselves.

In conclusion, I have some constructive criticism that will allow the
makers of Goldfish ™ to improve their pizza-inspired offerings. The
combination of parmesan flavored and pizza flavored fish is a good
starting point, since it replicates a grouping of foods actually found
in real life (cf. Doritos Collisions). Wouldn’t it make sense, then,
to provide the full range of pizza toppings in the same bag with pizza
flavored goldfish? Things like basil, red pepper flakes, garlic
powder to start with. But why not expand beyond the condiments to
offer mushrooms, pepperoni, onions, pineapple, and finally – in a
reflexive turn that could preoccupy snack food theorists for decades
to come – anchovy flavored goldfish? Pepperidge Farms ® Bakery: let’s
see just how Xtreme you really are.


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