Jenny writes about snacks. She rightly ridicules snacks trying too hard to be health food.
But the other end of the spectrum alarms me. I’ve noticed that at the grocery store, there are some sections I almost never visit, and when I do, I am astounded at the shit that people are evidently cramming down their gullets. Many of these products seem to be ways to extend existing manufactured food products (or at least brand names) into new niches–especially to make condiments into standalone food items, to make messy food more portable, and to claim as much shelf space as possible in an arms race of product diversification between food-manufacturing conglomerates. In the dairy section, Philadelphia-brand cheesecake bars. Tubes of yogurt–called “gogurt” if I recall correctly–that you rip open and squeeze into your mouth (I am guessing the beneficial lactobacillus has been killed in these). In the frozen-foods section, Sara Lee (I think) cheesecake “bites”. Tubes of pudding that you freeze. Cookie-dough-flavored snack food–how incredibly perverse! Eggo waffles made with Fruit Loops. Brightly packaged string-cheese logs, cheese niblets in a can, and so on. Potato chips intended to taste like baked potatoes smothered with condiments.
An analogous trend is found among hard-liquor companies producing malt beverages (ie, beer) that’s been de- and re-flavored to taste like a margarita, rum-and-coke, or whatever.