We don’t make the decisions on what grocery stores stock their shelves with. But we do make the decisions on what we put in our shopping cart. Here’s a collection of items found in actual supermarkets that we are a little too scared to try — let alone wonder what the motivation was for people creating them. Remember: Just because you can doesn’t mean you should.
A Ball of Beans
Would we eat beans in a bowl? Yes. As a side item on a plate? Absolutely. In a cup? Sure. But we are somehow so put off by the site of a ball of beans shrink-wrapped and tossed on a shelf in a grocery store that we’re doubting the shape of our containers for beans.
Are we so used to canned beans or dried and bagged beans that a ball of beans is this offensive? Maybe we wouldn’t have been so triggered if it wasn’t clear plastic holding the beans together.
Double the Cheese
Was there really not enough cheese in the actual mac and cheese to necessitate placing four additional slices of cheese on top? This isn’t what we want when we say we want something extra cheesy. We don’t care if that’s how you actually make something extra cheesy.
We want to enjoy the illusion of delicious, creamy, artisanal cheese lovingly mixed into our mac. You’re spoiling everything when you hit us with this monstrosity in the supermarket.
Raw and Ready
Say you’re on a diet. And say that diet restricts your consumption of sweets. If you were really craving ice cream one day — like eyeing Baskin Robbins from across the street and mapping out McDonald’s to hit up for soft serve on your way home — maybe you might be desperate enough to try this concoction.
For the rest of us, though, raw salmon in a waffle cone is just not going to do it. We shudder to consider the sweetness of the cone and the umami of the fish.
An Artistic Pallet
We’re in the business of being honest with you here. We would never, ever eat this. But we might be interested in preserving it in resin and hanging it up on our wall like the masterpiece in color, shape, and composition that it is.
Behold the delightful circles of the thinnest slices of carrot, pickle, and boiled egg we’ve ever seen. Then appreciate the swoop of the piece of ham — all held together with bright packaging. It’s a true work of art.
Real Surprising Dessert
Do you want to make an enemy for life? Tell us that you love us and want us to be happy and enjoy a delicious serving of vanilla gelato. Then watch us lick frozen mayo and lose our lunch.
This is the cruelest dessert we have ever laid eyes on, and we’ve seen some really bad ones in this collection of questionable grocery store items. This is one that would make us never trust vanilla as an ice cream flavor ever again.
Meat With Treats
There’s something satisfying about pairing savory with sweet. That’s where we get such delicacies as honey roasted peanuts and, if you’re feeling daring, bacon added to dessert items like fudge sundaes. However, we find this particular product extremely unsatisfactory.
First of all, who grinds pork bratwurst and mashes it into a patty form? Probably the same person who thought it was an amazing idea to stud the entire monstrosity with gummy bears.
Some Savory Donuts
Fine, we kind of grudgingly understand this one. With the recent trend of burgers using donuts instead of buns, some enterprising soul thought they’d cash in with matching beef patties. But would you cut a hole in the lettuce, too? The tomato? All the other toppings?
Really, all we can see is that the butcher has shorted us on at least one or two bites of delicious meat. We’d prefer to put an intact burger on our donuts, thanks.
A Questionable Jiggle
Nowhere in the history of anything do we believe that anyone has requested “chicken jello.” We have questions, and we’re afraid of the answers. We fully expect that a main ingredient of chicken wings would be chicken.
We can also accept salt and pepper, if we’re purchasing them seasoned. But we really doubt that any kind of recipe would instruct someone to add gelatin for a really delicious order of wings.
One Cheese, Please
We’ve already been desensitized to the puzzlement of items packaged in singles thanks to the shrimp we just witnessed. So what outrages us even more about this single slice of cheese is that it costs nearly a dollar.
For a dollar, you can probably get an entire package of individually wrapped processed cheese. What’s so special about this slice? We suppose the cheese stands alone — especially in this particular case.
Now That’s Mystery Meat
You know what’s a mystery about this meat? That someone actually signed off on naming it “miscellaneous meat.” There is no amount of money you could pay us to sample that. We’re not so naive — we understand that there is plenty of miscellaneous meat in our lives already.
But we like to give those items nice names like hotdogs, bologna, spam, and sausage. If this grocery store was trying to avoid copyright infringement on naming that dangerous stick of mystery, they could’ve tried a lot harder.
Pass on the Ham
Here’s the thing. We Americans can be awfully squeamish about our meat products. Do we know and understand that they come from real, living, breathing animals? Of course we do. But do we want to look in their cute faces as we feast on their flesh? We do not.
Shaping this delightful pig in the middle of a vat of ham salad is akin to reminding us that animals you might see at a petting zoo have died to satisfy our lunchtime cravings.
Not Very Appetizing
How can we say this without saying it? This meal looks like something a janitor had to vacuum out of the carpet in our second-grade classroom before sprinkling wood chips over to combat the smell.
Whose bright idea in marketing was it to give us a window into this absolute desecration of a meal? They should’ve kept that view safely behind cardboard instead of giving us a preview of what we might very well hack up later that night.
That’s Not a Thing
We can enjoy a delicious filet mignon — especially for a special occasion. There’s no holiday or date night that can’t be improved by a single bite of succulent beef, cooked and seasoned to perfection and enhanced by a juicy strip of bacon.
If that first bite would reveal itself to our tastebuds as poultry, our night would be ruined — just saying. If you’re going to spring for the mignon, skip the chicken. Don’t leave your date night disappointed.
From Snack to Entree
Who in the world thought that this was a good idea? Doritos are for late-night snacking, not dubious entrees behind the glass at a deli. We have to wonder what the other ingredients are in this terrifying concoction. Did they go with a protein? Was it miscellaneous meat?
Does anyone even dare to order a heaping serving of this? We can’t imagine the sodium levels in this — or, frankly, the vision behind something so intense.
Something Is Fishy
Look, we can get behind some food items with alcoholic infusions. But we’re thinking about things like bourbon barbecue sauce, boozy truffles and other treats, and more. We are not about to consider even trying smoked salmon with a gin and tonic flavoring.
Smoke salmon by itself? Delicious. A gin and tonic by itself — when you’re in the mood for one? Also delicious. But those two things don’t mix no matter what reality you’re living in.
A Walk on the Wild Side
Oh, we’re getting crazy tonight all right. We have to stop and consider what supermarket this “exotic” salad first appeared in. Had the person packing these veggies up and making the labels to mark them never seen peas before? Or perhaps it was the carrots? Maybe it was the combination of the two?
Because peas and carrots together are absolutely a thing — there’s nothing exotic about it. In fact, it’s famously quoted by Tom Hanks in Forrest Gump when he talks about how close he and his childhood friend, Jenny, are.
It’s Falling Flat
We had always wondered when pumpkin spice was going to go too far. We’re a fan of the lattes. We’re a fan of the ice cream, muffins, cookies, and other dessert items. But there is a line, pumpkin spice.
And you just crossed it with this combination of gouda cheese. No one in their right mind would ever enjoy something like this. And if they do, we need to know about it so we can avoid them for the rest of our natural life.
Drink Your Soup
We had a strong reaction to this, and let us tell you why. Sure, it’s probably a healthy option, promising to be packed with superfoods. And when you’re on the go, it’s probably pretty convenient to take this out of your bag and enjoy it instead of swinging by a fast food place.
But what we’re so up in arms about is how we feel so overworked and busy that we can’t sit down, take a break, and feed ourselves. If it was us, we’d put our foot down, pour this soup in a bowl, and relax for a bit.
Where’s the Dessert?
If you can’t tell by now, we take our sweets seriously. There’s nothing serious about this laughable combination of flavors and ingredients. Don’t try to tell us that this is dessert if it has kale in it. Kale is not for dessert. Kale is not for consumption at any time.
We want kale to go back to decorating buffet lines and deli coolers. And if you insist on adding it to smoothies and other things like this ice cream that are supposed to be sweet? We’ll have things to say about that.
Stop Trying to Make Kale Happen
What kind of joyless parent do you have to be to serve your kids people-shaped kale and potato patties? If you’re trying to trick your kid into eating their vegetables, you’d have to slather these in sauces (but NOT a combination of honey, mustard, and chocolate) to hide the green.
Kids can instantly identify the foods they hate the most by their color. You’d think that this company would’ve gone through more trouble to disguise everything.
Sandwich in a Can
Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches are perhaps one of the very first meals a child learns how to make themselves without any parental supervision. It’s a rite of passage. Over time, you develop your own style and preferences. Maybe you’re one who likes to build a peanut butter wall to act as a dam against a sea of jelly in the middle.
Or perhaps you’re a traditionalist — one slice of bread with peanut butter, the other with jelly. There is nobody, however, who pops their PB&J out of a can. This is truly cursed.
Some Hot Potatoes
At first glance, we were so sure that this was an outrageous box of tiny, curated potatoes that we almost wanted one for ourselves. We were additionally a little disappointed to learn that this box is actually full of sweet treats only made to look like potatoes.
Our disappointment faded, however, when we realized how funny it would be to trick someone into thinking they were receiving a box of potatoes for a nice Valentine’s Day gift.
A Taste of the Sea
We now know what Ariel, the Little Mermaid who gave up her fins — and, temporarily, her voice — to become a princess on land, snacked on when she was missing the sea: salt and seaweed-flavored Pringles.
She probably thought of Flounder, Sebastian, and the rest of her water-dwelling friends as she munched through half a can in one sitting, wondering whether Prince Eric ever regretted not getting to marry Ursula in disguise.
Worst Salad Ever
There are some regions in the United States that take the boundaries of what should be considered a salad and push them further than they should ever go. In some cases, just tossing more than a couple of ingredients together is classified as a salad. It doesn’t matter if none of those ingredients are leafy and green (we’re looking at you, ham salad).
And it certainly doesn’t matter if that salad is sweet, like this one, bristling with mayonnaise, cottage cheese, jello cubes, and other questionable additions.
One Slice Is Nice
Speaking of things that don’t belong in a can, we would like to draw your attention to this can-shaped loaf of bread that probably oozed forth from its confines like some sort of apocalyptic creature waking from its slumber to wreak havoc on us all.
This canned brown bread is apparently sweet and cake-like in texture, but we still don’t know if we could get ourselves to try it. Bread is one of our favorite things to eat, and we don’t want its memory tarnished by the canned variety.
A Key Ingredient
If you offer us chicken nuggets and then tell us that they’re chickenless, then they’re not chicken nuggets. Period. Don’t use chicken. Don’t use nuggets.
Don’t get our hopes up and then dash them on the rocks below by serving us some pale, meatless substitute to one of the greatest comfort foods of all times. This is cruel and unusual, and we wonder how many children have been fooled by the similar shape.
What’s the Point?
Haggis, by its very nature, is stuffed with all kinds of meaty offerings. That is the entire point of the dish, which is made by traditionally packing a sheep’s stomach with its organs and other ingredients before boiling. It’s a serious thing in Scotland.
While we don’t know if we could ever muster the courage to try it, we have to shake our heads at this vegetarian version. What in the world would they put in the stuffing? It would miss the entire point of the dish.
Get Your Greens
We get it. Sometimes it’s hard to fit all of the recommended vegetables into our diets that nutritionists keep telling us about. But it just doesn’t seem fair to anyone to cram something like spinach in what should be a delicious and delightful muffin.
If we wanted to eat our greens, we’d have made like Popeye and cracked open a can of the stuff. But we just wanted to treat ourselves to a muffin. The spinach takes all of the fun out of it.
Dodge That Lawsuit
“Sorry, Goldfish isn’t here. I’m Whales, and I’m a close cousin. Close enough that if you close your eyes, you can’t really tell the difference!” At least, that’s what we think this packaging and branding is trying to achieve.
An orange, cheddar-flavored snack cracker that’s in the shape of something that lives in water? This one checks all the boxes — except for, with a little luck, the one that gets you sued for copyright infringement.
Some Branding Confusion
Wow. Just … wow. This beef lasagna by popular toothpaste-maker and oral health guru Colgate just isn’t doing it for us. We know that, in the past, brands did basically whatever they wanted, throwing their hat into multiple rings to try to make a buck.
But we wouldn’t be able to separate the minty fresh taste of toothpaste from a lasagna dinner with this one. And we can’t help but wonder whether this dinner is hard on your teeth. It would make Colgate an evil genius.
Controversial and Brave
If you know what marmite is, you know just how intense this photo was. Did the photographer insist on anonymity so they couldn’t be harassed afterward? And just what is the reception of these controversial products in the stores of supermarkets everywhere?
If you don’t know what the big deal is, marmite is derived from yeast and traditionally spread on toast. These products are monumental in celebrating — or roasting — the distinctive, description-defying flavor.
Maybe Next Time
We don’t know if it’s the creepy design of what appears to be two terrified and brainwashed children or the ultra-long title. Either way, “Wow! Tastes Just Like Peanut Butter Safe4School WowButter” is not going to be on our shopping list the next time we venture out to the grocery store.
We don’t care that it’s creamy. We don’t care that it’s gluten-free. We don’t trust a peanut butter replacement that brands itself like this.
Last Choice of Pickles
We can appreciate the push to not waste food items. We know that more and more people are incorporating parts of produce we would usually toss, like broccoli stems sautéed or incorporated into savory pancakes, or carrot greens adding flavor and color to soup.
But we think sweet pickled watermelon rinds take this trend a little too far. We would never snack on pickled rinds — or whatever this mystery jar contains. We’d steer well clear of it in the supermarket aisle.
Nothing Terrific About It
We’re going to have to file a formal request (or complaint) asking companies to stop branding their products with worrisome titles like “Butterific.” If it’s not butter, we need to know exactly what it is so we can decide if we want to consume it.
We do, however, have to award a few points for creative sidestepping of copyright laws covering such competitors as I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter.
What Color Is It?
Maybe we just aren’t very adventurous eaters. But when our normally cream-colored vanilla pudding changes to green, that is usually a pretty strong signal to throw it out.
We don’t think we could endorse playing with our dessert items like this. Our stomach would turn if our Jell-o or pudding unexpectedly changed in appearance. But we were never fans of green and purple ketchup, either, so there’s that.
Too Many Sauces
No. No, no, no. You took a beautiful burger and slathered it in an unthinkable combination of condiments. Honey, mustard, and chocolate. All of these sauces would be fine on their own. Only one of them would be acceptable on a burger.
All three of them on a burger is just asking for trouble. We can hardly stomach the sight of this sandwich. What really pushes us over the top, though, is the hot tea on the side to wash it all down. Yuck.
Daring and Bold
This product is for people who have given up. It’s for the person at the restaurant who orders the parmesan garlic chicken wings with a side of onion rings. You might find these mints in the pocket of a cat lady sharing a diet with her fifteen felines of whole milk and canned tuna.
Because if you purchase a tin of mints that already tastes like onions, it shows the world that you don’t care about how your breath smells and you’re proud of it. Good luck, brave soul.
When Cheetos Aren’t Enough
We wish we had been a fly on the wall during the meeting where Mac n’ Cheetos was born. “I have always wanted to bite into the crunchy exterior of a puffy Cheeto only to be greeted by gooey, room-temperature mac and cheese,” we imagine a hungry CEO mused.
“And if you don’t make it happen, I’m going to fire everyone and sell the company.” Because that’s literally the only scenario we can think of to allow this to see the light of day.
Your Finest Breakfast
We’re not ashamed to admit that we would go to town on this collection of pure marshmallows from Lucky Charms cereal. We wouldn’t try to add it to anything even a little bit healthier — nor milk.
We would stuff our fists into that bag and eat them by the handful like a grizzly bear pounding down the contents of a dumpster. Would eating so much sugar make us sick? Yes, but we would be so very happy.
Cup of Mushroom
Given the strange history of mushroom-based beverages, we don’t think we really trust this one. It looks like coffee, sure. But our definition of coffee is the cup of joe we enjoy at the beginning of every day — and sometimes in the afternoon, too, to give us an extra energy boost.
We’re pretty doubtful that a brew made from mushrooms could give us the same effects as the java we’re so used to.
When Hydrating Isn’t Enough
We don’t understand the draw of beverages like this one with added caffeine. What in the world is wrong with a cup of coffee if you’re feeling your afternoon slump? You’ll already be kept up all night if that’s what you’re worried about. Somehow, it seems wrong to contaminate a bottle of pure water with a jolt of caffeine.
It seems like something that goes against Mother Nature herself. And what if you’re thirsty already and accidentally chug it? You don’t have that risk with a hot cup of joe.
Spray It On
What has science done? In an attempt to continue to innovate, save time, and dazzle customers, we have created a monster. This monster will haunt us in our dreams — in the form of a few bottles of aerosol seasoning spray. Yes, you read that right. And if you got a creeping cold chill, you’re not alone.
You can essentially spray a can of air freshener on your food for a bracing blast of the holidays, including pumpkin spice, gingerbread, and cinnamon flavors.
A Splash of Color
We’re not saying this isn’t beautiful. But edible flowers just aren’t our cup of tea — even with all the likes and gushing comments, this would probably receive on Instagram.
First of all, we don’t trust that eating crushed flowers would be good for us. And what about the taste? Would it essentially be like taking a big bite out of a flowerpot? We’ll pass on the flora in our beverages and on our plates, thanks.
A Hard Pass
There aren’t many things that make us gag at first sight. But this ranch dressing-flavored soda sure did it. We can only imagine that this is some kind of a joke item to give to a young nephew — or, conversely, an uncle who never grew up — when you don’t know what else to get them for Christmas.
Because we could never imagine (again, without gagging) chugging an ice-cold bottle of bubbly ranch dressing soda to wash down our meal.
Eating for One
We’re going to go out on a limb here and try to figure out if there might be a good reason to sell a single shrimp in all that packaging. Perhaps you need just one to garnish a cocktail. Or let’s say a very small mouse is looking forward to a seafood feast for dinner.
Maybe you’ve never tried shrimp before in your life and you’re scared that you’re allergic and don’t want to spring for an entire package with a normal amount of the food in it. We really have no idea which one it might be.