6 Snack Ideas That Should Already Exist (But Don’t)

January 2, 2019

Do you ever get the feeling that the people in charge of making and selling (and creating annoying jingles on TV about) our food seem to be utterly determined to not make even more money than they already do? There always seems to be so many innovations that could help improve their products that are so obvious to us consumers, but for whatever reason, these stuffy corporate types just refuse to implement. It baffles me how they manage to keep the lights on in their factories.

All of us have had truly brilliant and inspired ideas to improve and perfect our favorites snacks. Unfortunately, 99.99% percent of these new and fresh concepts are lost. Mostly, it’s because we tend to stumble upon these little gems while we’re tired, drunk, and missing underwear. We try to recapture these ideas in the morning, once we’re sober and fully dressed, but it never works. Instead, we end up with half-formed ill-advised pitches (“What if we put the cheese on top of the sandwich? So that it both tastes and feels like reconstituted polyurethane?”) that no one likes and nobody remembers, not even our mothers.

In this list, I’ve compiled 6 sure hits that any enterprising food manufacturer is welcome to steal. All I ask is that when they inevitably get Jessy Mendiola to star in the commercial for my idea, I at least get to sit-in during the shoot.

6. 2-pc Chicken Spaghetti Meals

spaghetti

This seems so easy to do, that I honestly don’t understand why it isn’t an actual thing yet. McDonald’s and Jollibee both offer spaghetti meals with chicken. They also both have 2-pc Chicken meals with rice on their respective menus.  It seems it’d be incredibly easy to marry the two together and let me buy two pieces of chicken with my fast food pasta, but alas, it isn’t.

Rather, I have to endure the shame of ordering both a 1-pc chicken rice meal and a 1-pc chicken spaghetti meal in order to get my fill. The fact that I only order one large soda to go with my food (making it painfully clear to everyone that I intend to pig out all by myself) just leaves me vulnerable to my cashier’s judgmental looks.

Come on, Mcdonald’s and Jollibee! How hard can this be? It would literally take you two minutes to add it your menu. Do it, do the right thing. Give us our 2-pc Chicken Spaghetti.

5. Plus-sized Yakult

yakult

In the interest of full disclosure, I have to confess that I’m not really a big Yakult drinker. Even as a kid, I was never one of those children who always had one of those tiny bottles packed away in his or her lunchbox. Nope, I had zip, because zip was cool.

That being said, I do know a lot of people who love the stuff, probably from years of programming as an adolescent. I’ve tried it myself, now as an adult, and while its flavor is far from unpleasant, it’s not something that I’d go out of my way to drink.

The funny thing is, the lack of large containers of Yakult for sale in Manila has resulted in a pseudo-urban origin myth. The story goes that the manufacturers purposefully package them in convenient one-shot bottles because excessive consumption of Yakult will lead to horrible health complications. It’s an explanation that I find hard to believe as I often see the legendary large Yakult bottles in Vietnam and Thailand (not to mention my classmates in kindergarten who routinely shotgunned 5-packs of Yakult every recess time and were none the worse for wear). Why would it be okay for our Thai or Vietnamese brothers but not for us? I doubt Filipino stomachs are any more delicate than those of our neighbours.

Still, wouldn’t it be hilarious if it was true? The possibility, no matter how remote, of sudden city-wide, uncontrollable vomiting is enough for me to put the Plus-sized Yakult at number five.

4. 3-in-1 Coffee Litro Packs

coffee litro

As I’ve repeatedly pointed out, I have an interesting relationship with coffee. 3-in-1 coffee litro packs would be a godsend for caffeine junkies like me. We’d be double dosing entire Coleman jugs with the stuff. We’d carry it around with us, sneaking in a sip every now and then to keep the shakes at bay. It’d be a lot cheaper than popping into Starbucks whenever we need a hit, and a thousand times tastier than the swill they pass off as coffee in most 24-hour joints.

Okay, so coffee manufacturers, I know what you’re thinking.  Yes, the product comes with a guaranteed, albeit slightly-damaged, customer base (who all clearly are in need of help), but how would you market the stuff to all the normals in the country? Easy, lie and say it’s meant to be shared.

Picture this: a few attractive teenagers are cramming for a big test, a few (also attractive) twentysomethings are pulling another forced OT, finally, a group of attractive older folk (think Sir Chief) are anxiously waiting at a hospital lobby. All are tired and losing focus, when suddenly, one of them pulls out a 3-in-1 coffee litro pack. Cue next scene where it’s all (attractive) hugging, laughing, and textbooks in the air throwing. The script practically writes itself.

Instant bestseller.

3. Chicken Nuggets Party-Edition

nuggets

At this very moment, there is someone furiously typing a comment about the “for sharing” chicken nuggets some McDo branches sell. To that person I say, 10 chicken nuggets is not a party. At best, it’s a polite get-together at the school library organized by both the Abstinence Forever Org and the varsity chess team.

When I say party-sized chicken nuggets, I want enough chemically processed chicken meat squares to last a room full of twenty dudes watching the UAAP Finals at least until halftime. The box (or bucket, I’m not choosy) should be heavy enough when full that dropping it on a cat risks at least five of its nine lives. It should have enough undifferentiated chicken meat to allow me to reconstruct the birds that they came from if I so chose, sort of like crispy fried lego.

That’s the kind of party I’m talking about.

2. Isaw (and friends) Rice Meals

rice toppings

I can’t be the only one who eats isaw (and goto, tenga, betamax) with rice, right? If you haven’t tried it yet, you should. It’s fantastic, especially if you have enough spicy vinegar to drizzle over your rice. If you think about it, they’re all basically bbq variants anyway, and we eat that with rice without batting an eyelash. Heck, we already eat dimsum with rice, and no one thinks it’s weird. (Though, I do get odd stares whenever I do it outside the country.)

Even places like Chic-Boy, or the horribly overpriced food stalls at all the various midnight food fairs, don’t package their isaw (and other grilled laman loob) as rice meals. It’s a pretty big blind spot, I feel. I’m pretty sure that if somebody set up shop next to Mang Larry’s at UP, selling nothing but plain rice and paper plates, they’d be making money hand over fist.

1. All-day Fast Food Breakfast

mcdo_breakfast

There’s nothing quite like the anguish one feels when you’re craving for a Sausage McMuffin with Egg, but the line’s so long, and the people so slow, that you get to the cashier at 10:08AM. No more breakfast menu. For a second, as despair floods your soul, each and every badly written poem by your emo ex  (the one who only wears black and thinks she’s a vampire) suddenly makes sense. (But then, you order a double cheeseburger and they’re instantly back to being immature and functionally illiterate).

To be fair, I do know that there are actual, legitimate, technical reasons as to why most McDonald’s and Jollibee branches can’t serve you a pancake at three in the afternoon no matter how eloquently you plead your case. Apparently, the fryers used for the breakfast food operate at a lower temperature than when they’re employed to cook all the normal burger and chicken stuff. Still, how hard could it be to set-aside one single fryer solely for serving people who have a hankering for breakfast food at odd hours?

I know plenty of people who only ever eat fast food during breakfast. I guarantee that there will always be someone who’d be down for a Sausage McMuffin (or a Hamdesal, if you’re feeling patriotic), whether or not the sun is shining in the sky. Sure, neither Jollibee nor McDonald’s are hurting for customers, but why would they ever say no to even more revenue?

It’s 2013, practically the future, I should be free to have breakfast for dinner.

Do you have any other brilliant ideas about food you can’t believe people haven’t done yet? Share your wisdom below!

Lars Roxas Lars Roxas

Laurence is a twenty-something turtle pretending to be a writer. In the past, he has worked as a warehouse clerk, Apple genius, martial arts instructor, copywriter, editor, english teacher, and personal trainer. He can’t swim or ride a bike, but he's done Judo on three continents. He has an MA in Creative Writing from the University of the Philippines, Diliman. Occasionally, his stories appear in real actual books. He makes awesome waffles.

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105 comments in this post SHOW

105 responses to “6 Snack Ideas That Should Already Exist (But Don’t)”

  1. Lars Roxas says:

    Can well just take a moment to bask in the glory of that pretty night-day-night-day gif Mikeel made? 😀

  2. Kars Pangan Sarmiento says:

    #4 – truly advantageous! 🙂

  3. Jessi says:

    i knew i was gonna like this post as soon as i read #6 :’)

  4. D Camacho says:

    I miss A&W and their all day breakfast menu!!!

  5. kathleen says:

    I love this post! Agree with everything! Makes me go “Why world? WHYYYY?”

    I have to say, the commercial idea for the 3-in-1 coffee litro pack killed me. Panalo! Haha.

  6. nameless says:

    3-in-1 Coffee Litro Pack = GENIUS! They should market this to law/med/grad students! We need this fuel!

    As for Yakult, I remember my Japanese professor explaining that the bottle size is dependent on the lactose intolerance of the market(?). Also, he said that it’s best to buy it from the Yakult lady. The sediments at the bottom of the bottle means the good bacteria are already dead. XD

  7. Rachel says:

    I think they came up with an article saying the current serving size of Yakult is just the right amount of bacteria for our body. 🙂

    • Exactly. 🙂 I only saw this comment after I posted mine but that is absolutely correct. Like, you don’t get sick if you take too much of it, but the minimum amount is the several billion that they put in the single-served bottles.

    • Lars Roxas says:

      but nothing bad would happen if you got more than the recommended dose right? Because back in gradeschool, kid would pass it around like cigs in the penitentiary 😛

  8. Kisty Mea says:

    I fully support the All-Day Fast Food Breakfast!
    Here in Singapore, they offer the breakfast til 11:45AM every weekends and they offer 20-pc Chicken Nuggets. I wish they can do that in the Philippines rin. 🙂

    http://kisty.net

  9. Adrian De Leon says:

    May alam akong mas murang alternative dun sa nuggets party pack. Dun sa may Dapitan sa UST nag bebenta ang Pamapanga’s Best ng nuggets na malapit lapit sa lasa ng McDo. Much cheaper too. Nung student ako, 5 bucks each lang. So I’d buy like 10 of them, P50 lang. Meaning if they offer a party pack of say 100 pieces, P500 lang! Panalo di ba? Wala nga lang sauce.

  10. mykam says:

    I would definitely buy that 3-in-1 Coffee Litro Pack! It makes so much sense!

  11. Midge K. Manlapig says:

    3-in-1 coffee litro pack – well, Great Taste already has one of those out. But bring me my isaw-betamax-adidas on rice AND a couple party BARRELS of chicken nuggets – NOW NA!

    • Lars Roxas says:

      those aren’t technically litro-packs though. They’re just giant bags of powder you have to still spoon out and think of the amount you need for each time you make coffee. 😀 A true litro pack requires no thinking, just empty the whole sachet into the water and shake 😀

  12. Pat says:

    I really think there should be a chicken and burger steak combo in Jollibee!

  13. jome says:

    wouldn’t it be easier just to order a 2pc chicken meal and a spaghetti?

    Totally agree with the chicken nuggets one though, sometimes you just want some chicken to chew on while lounging around and 6pcs are good for like about 6 minutes worth of lounging.

    I think the yakult one is a good thing… i mean, no offense to those who think of it as healthy, but could you imagine how much sugar it would take for ridiculously sour yogurt to taste as sweet as yakult??? and then drinking multiple bottles of the stuff?

    • Lars Roxas says:

      I usually order the spaghetti and chicken first, though, then waffle over whether I should buy the extra chicken as well. Sometimes my dignity wins, sometimes it doesn’t. 🙁

  14. carina says:

    Kagulo siguro pag nag-offer ng rice meals ang Larry’s Isaw sa UP. Meron naman sa UP na fishballs and friends. + pancit canton meals 😀

    • Lars Roxas says:

      Sobra! Ung natatalong isawan sa tabi niya, ung orange ung paninda, dapat mag serve na ng rice, un ung pwede niyang gawing “edge”

  15. Leslie says:

    When McDo’s chicken nuggets first arrived, they came in 6, 9, & 20 pcs. So sad when they got rid of the 9-pc box.

  16. Ariane Napiza says:

    Lars, (first name basis para feeling close), I think I love you now for being an All-day Fast Food Breakfast advocate like I am <3. Pepper.ph should start an online petition!! And I would totally pitch that 3-in-1 litro pack idea if I were working for a coffee company.

    • Lars Roxas says:

      to be entirely honest, if and when 3-in-1 litro packs become standard, I’d probably start campaigning for gallon mixes…

      I have issues. (with coffee) 😛

  17. Dan says:

    There are some brands with the 3-in-1 litro pack already. San Mig Coffee SaloSalo is one.

    • Lars Roxas says:

      this i did not know, I can’t find any decent pictures online, is it a legit giant sized pack or just four normal ones packaged together?

      I’m more of a kopiko person though.

  18. mary says:

    Lucky Me (Instant) Pancit Canton. In a cup. With a fork. Just add hot water and drain.

    None of this boil-some-water-and-look-for-a-plate bullshit.

    • Lars Roxas says:

      would yakisoba count? though I did do the reverse once, didn’t read the label and thought my yakisoba was just normal cup noodles. It was a…watery experience.

  19. Mikka Wee says:

    They should have Jollibee Tuna Pie throughout the year and not just during lent! 🙁

  20. sai says:

    Agree with the all-day breakfast! Don’t wanna wake up as early as 8 AM just to have my pancakes craving fulfilled.

    • Lars Roxas says:

      The Jollibee near my place is actually pretty good at this as they start serving the breakfast menu at 12am sharp. I’ve had pancakes with hamdesal at 1am numerous times because of this 😀

  21. Johann says:

    as a broke UP student, I also ate isaw with rice. if am really broke, i go for fishballs/squidballs/tukneneng with rice. i hope i don’t pay for it in the future. =p

    here in KL, McD’s (how they call McDo) offers breakfast until 11am. They also have a chicken party pack (20-pcs nuggets and chicken).

    my suggestion: McDo meal of fries and sundae. I mean, there’s people who do it all the time. why not make a killing and capitalize?

    • Mark says:

      A Chicken party pack?! We need that now! as in right NOW! hahaha

    • Lars Roxas says:

      WAIT.

      what exactly does 20 pcs of nuggets and chicken mean? Do you mean 20 of each? Half half? Or just a random assortment of whatever the waiter has on hand so sometimes you’d get 11 nuggers and 9 pieces of chicken, and other times you 19 wings and one lonely nugget?

      • Johann says:

        its 20 pieces of chicken nuggets and six pieces of fried chicken, which they call the chicken lover pack. they have another chicken lover pack of 40 pieces of chicken nuggets and 12 pieces of fried chicken.
        (just checked the online ordering website to make sure)

        okay. NOW i am hungry.

  22. Johann says:

    as a broke UP student, I also ate isaw with rice. if am really broke, i go for fishballs/squidballs/tukneneng with rice. i hope i don’t pay for it in the future. =p

    here in KL, McD’s (how they call McDo) offers breakfast until 11am. They also have a chicken party pack (20-pcs nuggets and chicken).

    my suggestion: McDo meal of fries and sundae. I mean, there’s people who do it all the time. why not make a killing and capitalize?

  23. I heard Yakult is packaged in small bottles because the single-serve packaging is your minimum “dose” of Lactobacilli. The live bacteria “die” when they are exposed to the elements, so when you open a big bottle of Yakult, drink a little and save some for later, you expose the Lactobacilli to air, and after that, the poor little microorganisms die and what’s the point of Yakult without the good bacteria?

    They have 8oz bottles of Yakult (or other probiotic drink with another name) in Bangkok, though.

    • Mikka Wee says:

      Hahahaha I went on a Yakult drinking spree once and finished a rim in one sitting. It wasn’t good, man. Explosions in my belly.

      • Really, though? I always end up finishing an entire 6-pack but nothing untoward has ever happened to me. If they don’t want you drinking more than one bottle, they should be advertising it outright, correct? Or else I’d be sick by now. In my case I just can’t stop at one. Babalik-balik ako sa fridge until the entire pack is a thing of the past.

        • And oh, just another “andami mong alam” comment:

          A Korean biologist friend told me that kimchi has the same probiotic benefits as Yakult or yoghurt, since the fermentation process encourages bacterial growth, and that there is actually a different strain of kimchi bacteria called Lactobacilli kimchee. The one in Yakult is Lactobacilli shirota, but thanks to Gabe Mercado, I bet you know that already 🙂 Haha OK ka ba tyan?

  24. Karen says:

    Back in college I used to subsist on the fishballs-with-rice combo. But I had to buy rice from a canteen. Still, it’s a gastronomical goldmine for P20-25.

    • Lars Roxas says:

      When I was in highschool, those short on cash could either subsist on the 1 pc siomai and 1 cup of rice combo (8php total with liberal amounts of free toyo from the stall). You could upgrade it to 2 cups of rice and 1pc of siomai (13 php, also called the karpentero special) if you were really hungry or had varsity practice later in the day.

      Those _really_ pinching pennies can also try the mashed potatoes with gravy (7php) or plain rice with gravy (5php, the gravy’s free) 😀

    • when I was in high school, I had fishballs with rice too! I spent around P15-20. when I got to college, we had rice in plastic for P5 and a barbecue stick for P7. we eat the rice straight from the plastic and then bite off the meat off the stick.

  25. Jane says:

    NUMBER THREE I NEED IT IN MY LIFE

    Yes, that needed to be typed in all caps.

  26. Mylene Chung says:

    oh man, i feel you on the all day mcdo breakfast!!!! I’ve always been thinking the same thing everytime I pass by Mcdo and it’s already 11am.:(

  27. Mark says:

    You know what I miss? the letter F in Mcdo. 6pcs. nuggets and spaghetti meal. That was like 105 bucks lang. I miss it so much it hurts my heart. 🙁

  28. Dylan Dylanco says:

    Everything about McDonald’s = YES. Especially the all-day breakfast. Fact: Breakfast tastes 100x better when you don’t eat it in the morning.

  29. Katrina says:

    Oreos with no cream in the middle. PLEASE.

  30. Joeru says:

    there already is a Great Taste 3 in 1 pack good for 10 cups…

  31. Addi dela Cruz says:

    Na-excite ako ng sobra sa Litro Yakult and Chicken Nuggets Party!!

  32. Babe for Food says:

    Jollibee should make bigger peach mango pies at least like the original one and not sell it in a box of 3’s. -_-

    And KFC should have their halo2x krusher all year round!!! I always have to wait for summer for it. 🙁

    Babe for Food – your BFF in Cebu dining! 🙂

  33. Gee says:

    YES TO NUMBER 3 AND NUMBER 1.

  34. Annie says:

    I totally agree with number 1. Jollibee’s hot chocolate is my favorite and I get so sad that I cannot buy a cup of it after their breakfast cut-off time, even at their 24-hour branches. McDo serves hot chocolate at their 24-hour branches but theirs is not as good as Jollibee’s 😛

  35. Raiza says:

    No more extra charge when you change the soft drink to iced tea when you order a value meal.

  36. Kaye says:

    OH MY GOD. YES TO CHICKEN MC NUGGETS PARTY SIZE! Inaamin ko I buy two 6-pc McNuggets just for myself. Dapat may diet (6 pcs), regular (10 pcs), gutom (16 pcs), sharing (24 pcs), barkada (36 pcs). Ganyan. Suggestion lang naman. Hahaha…

  37. isipanini says:

    but there’s chicken mcnuggets party size in US. big yakult in HK city super store & even in groceries in beijing, china. 😛

  38. Tricia says:

    Yakult is packaged because it’s really meant to be taken in small amounts because it’s bacteria. 🙁 I drank the whole pack in one sitting and my foot swelled. The same thing happened to my friends who did the same! hilig kasi sa yakult masyado

  39. Lolomiks says:

    About #2: There’s this stall usually located in MRT stations that sell fried isaw. They have two combo meals offering a certain combination of chicken isaw, chicken skin and fried chicken siomai with rice and drink for Php 40. (I think it’s 2 of either isaw or siomai, then 1 of the other types.) Doesn’t help that their isaw kinda sucks, but at least someone’s exploring that front.

    • FrancesElaine Belicario Trazo says:

      The stall you’re talking about is Tik-Tilaok. Their isaw over Eastwood is okay. 🙂 Not sure about their other outlets in the Metro, though.

  40. strawberri says:

    All asian countries i think have the plus sized yakult, not to mention that they’re flavored like.. green apple or strawberry or something awesome :>

  41. hylander says:

    What a well-written, entertaining article! Great job Lars 🙂

  42. Em says:

    I think yakult is that small because of the live microorganisms. If it is big and we cant finsih it in one sitting, bacteria will build up quickly and we can really just store it away and drink later. Theyve tried the big one and they did a test and it became gross that you really cant drink it anymore

  43. JCQWERTY says:

    Spot on with #1. I reckon we should have a signature campaign on this. Anyone?

    On #2: I suggest Chef Lau’s Crispy Chikinini (http://www.munchpunch.com/chef-laus-pugon-roasters-ayala-triangle-gardens/menu). Head over to Ayala Triangle Park.

    On #3: McDonald’s Session Rd. in Baguio used to have a buffet every year for their branch’s anniversary. During summer, if I’m not mistaken. Voucher’s around P200 – P250. Among other McDo items which I can’t remember from more than 10 yrs. ago, you get to choose from these from 7pm onwards:

    burgers sliced into 4
    fries and more fries
    chicken nuggets
    fried chicken
    spag

    We usually just get fries and chicken nuggets and skip the heavy carbs. I wish wish wish they bring this back as well.

    On #4: San Mig’s Salo-Salo Pack (just might do…)

    *sigh* Kagutom,

  44. Niki says:

    *Chicken Nuggets Party-Edition*

    actually, we sort of have this in Hong Kong 😀 You get this huge box of chicken nuggets with three dips of your choice (Indian Curry, Singapore Sesame, Korean BBQ and lots more).

    bwahahaha~

  45. JOHNTEE says:

    There’s a food stall in Paquita St. Sampaloc that only sells rice and soft drinks. They are next to an isaw stall. Try and visit it 🙂

  46. Tina A says:

    “tastier than the swill they pass off as coffee in most 24-hour joints.” I hear 7/11’s french vanilla coffee is pretty good. I have yet to try it for myself though.

    My favorite of the list, btw, is number 1. Breakfast food ftw!

  47. Not so crazy about #2 but everything else I agree with all of my heart. Imagine a life with litro packs of 3-in-1 coffee, party edition of Chicken Nuggets, bigger servings og Yakult, 2 piece chicken with spaghetti and all-day long breakfast! Ahhhh…. perfection!

  48. Mike De Guzman says:

    you got me! you got me good!

  49. Kianne Marie says:

    re #2: Have you heard of Mang Raul’s BBQ in Las Pinas? 🙂

  50. Kristine Medina says:

    Ihaw variants w/ rice in shabu shabu fashion. Imagine a piece of isaw baboy, dugo, barbeque and the like each in one bowl.

  51. Hi says:

    Hindi pwedeng magbenta ng kanin sa UP bilang kiosk 🙂 Tinanong na namin sa mga tindera ng mga kiosk bakit ‘di sila magbenta ng kanin. 🙂 Mga canteen lang pwede magbenta. Baka daw malugi mga canteen kung mga kiosk pwede magbenta ng kanin…

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