6 Snack Ideas That Should Already Exist (But Don’t)January 2, 2019
- Lars RoxasWords
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
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
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
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.
3. Chicken Nuggets Party-Edition
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
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
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.