January 05, 2006

Once more, with flavor

At work, things often appear in the kitchen with no explanation. Usually this is welcome enough that I don't think too much about it. Petit fours? I don't care where they came from, I'm just glad there are enough left for me to eat six of them. But today there were three single-serving bags of Doritos. That doesn't so much strike me as a festive, sharing-the-bounty kind of thing to leave in a communal kitchen. More like "the snack machine spat too many of these out, and I kind of had mixed feelings about the one I was actually buying in the first place."

I took one nonetheless -- not because I was interested in eating them (I'll be bringing them back to work tomorrow and leaving them in the kitchen again for someone who is), but because I thought the burst on the front of the bag was blogworthy:


"Now better tasting!" I love the implication behind that, namely: "We're sorry they tasted like crap before! We fixed it! With...electricity!" (Yes, when I think "tasty", I think "power strip".)

I think what they meant to say was "Now even better tasting." See, this is why everyone needs copy editors, if only to avoid being made fun of on the blogs of other copy editors.

Posted by Francis at 01:46 AM

Waitaminnit...they're not only Nacho Cheesier!, but they also taste more like power strips? I love that plugged-in flavor! If Doritos get any more delicious, the manufacturer's going to need to incorporate a surge protector.

I know where those workplace Doritos came from—from somebody who refuses to eat snack foods that are past their freshness date.

Posted by: Orange at January 5, 2006 10:53 AM

I first noticed this months ago and have been spreading the good word ever since. I can't help but associate the new Doritos bag with the old "soft bigotry of low expectations."

Posted by: meestagoat at January 5, 2006 10:54 AM

See, if I'd been the creative guru here, I'd have put the proper copy ("now less crap-tasting!") in a cartoon mouth with a lovely long tongue wrapping around to lick my parched lips. Sexy and seductive, yet not too racy. Or, hell, I'd just print out a sticker that said "Eat Me!" and stick it between by breasts (with a lovely black bra on, flanking the copy) and take a photo of THAT for the packaging. Can you say "skyrocketing sales"??

Posted by: Mona Buonanotte at January 5, 2006 11:13 AM

At least the bag contains the improved chips. I've got a ream of HP laser printer paper, the wrapping of which is emblazoned with the blurb "Coming Soon. New Package!" with a tiny reproduction of the new package underneath. If it's already designed, how come I'm stuck with the lousy old package?

Posted by: Patrick Broderick at January 5, 2006 03:32 PM

Here's the solution to your mystery. If I can read it correctly in the picture, the sell-by date is Jan 1. Believe it or not, some vending machine dealers actually take out old stock, and since they have no use for it, some servicers leave it on the kitchen table where the machine is. This happens in my office from time to time.

Posted by: johnshade at January 5, 2006 05:40 PM

The best way to plug Doritos, which would overcome anyone's resistance, would be to switch to a battery of ads for the current version.

Posted by: Eileen at January 5, 2006 06:22 PM

Maybe someone got one of those variety trays of snack bags, you know, 3 each of 4 different kinds, and they like all the other kinds of snack except this one.

People get a lot of weird things for Christmas. It's possible someone was giving out such snack assortments.

Posted by: Elaine at January 5, 2006 08:16 PM

"Now with more cowbell."

Posted by: RichM at January 5, 2006 10:14 PM

The bag used to have a picture of chips on it. Which has been replaced by an illustration of something inedible. . . . Who is the target audience for this?

For reviews of Doritos Nacho Cheesier(s) and 2,845 other favorite snacks, go to http://www.taquitos.net/

Posted by: Victoria at January 6, 2006 10:33 AM

I was the one who ended up eating this particular bag of doritos. Sell-by date be damned, those were cheeselectrocutingly good.

Posted by: Alex at January 6, 2006 12:16 PM

So, you must be the target audience, Alex.

Posted by: Victoria at January 6, 2006 03:40 PM

Today my household consumed a wee bag of Doritos dated January 24. Apparently, Doritos are no longer electrically better tasting; they are merely Nacho Cheesier. Honestly? I'm disappointed.

Posted by: Orange at January 7, 2006 11:29 PM

While we're semioticizing, I'm wondering what the exact implication of the distressed 19th-century typeface is. Electric Goth chips? Retro 1990s Grunge Typography chips? Victorian wah-wah pedals? [The wire-laden silhouette is a dead ringer for an old effects pedal I had back when I was young and played a guitar and these things meant anything. Not like kids these days &c &c]

So you need not only a copy-editor. Your better class of chip packaging designers will have a typographer on hand as well.

Posted by: Bill Tozier at January 8, 2006 10:40 PM

Have you seen the individual packages of pop tarts that command the user to "never leave a microwave or toaster unattended?" I imagined families assigning a battery of sentries to stand guard over their kitchen appliances.

Posted by: Molly at January 13, 2006 09:24 PM

Me and my friend are doing an experiment for our 6th grade sciense class using these doritos and another type. We're gonna see if these really do have more cheese and they taste better.

Posted by: kayla at January 16, 2007 01:48 PM

I used to like Doritos I ate them all the time intill I found out that Doritos has Coal Dust and Tar in the Chips and it causes Cancer In HUMANS AND ANIMALS. A mouse got cancer from eating doritos..MICE.....animals....people. Doritos are not healthy and are also if you get cancer DEADLY.

Posted by: Sarah at August 8, 2007 05:13 PM

But this means that if you have mice, you can leave Doritos out for them to eat instead of poison; they'll still die, but they'll lead longer, potentially more fulfilling lives.

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