If you’re going to stay on top, you’ve got to try new things. Just ask Nintendo, who used to make playing cards, or Lamborghini, who used to make tractors. But sticking your brand name on a bold new product comes with some risks, especially if your idea is utterly insane. Such as …
6. Cheetos-Flavored Lip Balm
Flavored lip balm is nothing new. If you’re going to smear wax on your lips, it might as well taste like something, right? But there seems to be a fairly wide gulf between Cherry Chapstick and Cheetos-flavored lip balm.
That short-lived product was produced in 2005 and killed very shortly after by lip balm manufacturer Lotta Luv, which seems to specialize in making lip wax that tastes like food. But while lots of their “flavors” make perfect sense (like bubble gum), there turned out to not be a lot of demand for a lip balm that, according to a customer review, “smells like moldy cheese.” Besides, if you want to kiss somebody with Cheetos powder smeared on their face, they’re not exactly hard to find in this day and age.
5. Zippo Lighter Fluid Perfume
OK, we don’t know that Zippo brand perfume actually contained any butane, or even smelled like it, despite the fact that it came in a little lighter-shaped bottle. The fragrance is called Zippo the Woman, which has the benefit of sounding like a Zippo-brand perfume as well as a circus sideshow.
It’s such a strange choice, because where most perfumes are just named for some abstract idea (“Yes, Chanel, I suppose this is what the number 5 would smell like”), whereas in this case, they’re selling you a container that normally holds another kind of fluid that can kill you if you sniff too much of it.
4. Holiday-Flavored Pringles
When the holidays approach, food companies make a killing by simply splashing some pumpkin pie flavoring or peppermint dust into the mix and waiting for consumers to come running.
That’s how we wound up with Pringles flavors like White Chocolate Peppermint, Pumpkin Pie Spice, and Cinnamon & Sugar.
Of the White Chocolate Peppermint Pringles, one website aptly said, “It tastes like cocoa with a little peppermint in it, inside a mug made from a raw potato.” The festive Pringles appeared around Christmas 2012. Could Santa bring them back this year? And if so, can he be stopped in time?
3. Cap’n Crunch Ship Shake
Cereal mascot Cap’n Horatio Magellan Crunch has been locked in a 50-year war with the Soggies, so he knows a thing or two about what people want out of their cereal. Sadly, a mere three years after his creation, he had a crisis of faith when, in 1966, Quaker Oats decided what the world really wanted was Cap’n Crunch that didn’t crunch at all. The result was Cap’n Crunch’s Ship Shake, a pureed mix of breakfast delight.
Quaker Oats tried to market it as a healthy alternative to the old variety going so far as to say that when mixed as directed, a cup of Ship Shake was as healthy as a bowl of oatmeal. But with flavors such as butterscotch and chocolate, this was a pretty hard sell for parents.
2. Sylvester Stallone Pudding
A few years back, Sylvester Stallone created arguably the slowest way to eat protein. Yes, where most fitness enthusiasts see protein shakes as a necessity that must be hurriedly choked down before a workout, Stallone decided to put the stuff into the form of a pudding that you could methodically eat with a spoon, to really savor it.
Sadly, Stallone’s pudding has gotten him ensnared in a lawsuit by someone claiming that Stallone stole his pudding recipe. We don’t understand what all the fuss is about, considering that we’re pretty sure you can make your own protein pudding by just adding a fraction of the amount of milk or water you normally would to your protein powder. If it’s still too runny, then refrigerate it for 30 minutes. You’re welcome.
1. Vegetable Jell-O (for Salads!)
Jell-O is timeless because it’s so simple. It’s a wiggling block of some vaguely sugar-flavored substance; adding anything to it just screws it up. But in the 1960s, the Jell-O people got cocky and tried to convince the world that Jell-O should be a staple of everyone’s diet.
And thus began the company’s foray into the non-dessert section of grocery markets. New savory varieties included mixed vegetables, celery, seasoned tomato, and Italian. The company even released a recipe book for their unique creations, saving you the trouble of figuring out how to best utilize this new vegetable-inspired gelatin. Some of these recipes even featured seafood.