Dinner in a cup


Meal in a mug

Bacon flavoured soda, anyone?  This is the latest in line of strange mixes.  It appears that people are fascinated with new, weird and strange flavours.  Everyone loves to challenge expectations and their taste buds.  People around the globe have different tastes when it comes to their favourite soft drinks.  In recent times popular Soda companies like Pepsi, Coca Cola and Jones Soda Co. have produced some interesting flavours.  Many are intriguing, some are scandalous and others are just downright unappetizing.  Jones Soda Company invented a Celery Soda, Turkey and Gravy soda and a Brussels Sprouts soda.  Some veggies just shouldn’t be used as inspiration for soda.  Most would prefer turkey and gravy on a plate.. not in a glass.  Other weird concoctions include buffalo wing milkshake, bacon flavoured cola and pizza flavoured beer.  You just have to ask yourself why?  Do they not have enough time to eat before they have a drink?  Welcome to the weird trend!
  Tom and Athena Seefurth who created the pizza flavoured beer in 2006 at their home brewery in Campton Township swear by it.  It’s made the same way you make pizza, except strained, filtered and steeped.  Each sip tastes like a bite of pizza.  It is available to buy from their website and people seem to like it.  The facebook page is packed full of praise, even the freelance writer Jim Galligan says ‘Weirdest Beer I tried that didn’t suck’.  
The Jones Soda company, creator of Turkey and Gravy soda, began in 1987 when company founder Peter Van Stolk recognized the potential of emerging alternative products in the beverage industry.  The company was already a distributer for other companies such as Thomas Kemper sodas and Arizona Iced tea, but they launched their own brand in 1994.  Rachel Ross, customer relations manager for Jones Soda Company informs that, ‘they launched their first six flavours of Green apple, Happy, Cream soda, Bubblegum, Pink and Pineapple upside down in 1996.’   Their products are recognised for their unique packaging, which regularly changes designs, often chosen by customers.  
 Since then the flavours have moved on to being even weirder.  One lady on their facebook page said ‘Several years ago, I tried the Jones  Co Thanksgiving soda lineup.  It included the turkey&Gravy and Brussels Sprouts sodas, plus Buttered Mashed Potatoes, Stuffing, and Cranberry Sauce.  With the exception of the cranberry sauce, which was sweet enough to be palatable, they were all incredibly tasty.  Savory flavors and carbonation do not go together!! Glad I tried them though, just to say I did’!  Proving that for most people it is the novelty and the fact it’s a limited edition collectables piece, rather than a nice tasting drink.  Jones Soda Company said ‘why do people like odd flavors, who knows?  They are unique, that’s for sure!  We sometimes make Limited Edition flavors and those are very popular.  We only produce so many bottles of each type, so if you miss out, you may not have a chance to try our odd flavors, like Bacon soda’.
The distribution of the soda company began with their ‘alternative distribution strategy’ where they placed their products in unique venues such as parlors and music stores.  This strategy was then applied up and down the street by placing products in convenience stores and larger chains such as Starbucks and Safeway.  Jones Soda has always been “about the consumers” and Peter Van Stolk has travelled across America handing out soda and talking to the people on the street.  This is how Jones Soda gets ideas, from customer feedback.  
Other weird inventions have been the Heinz EZ squeeze ketchup in 2000 which came in blue, green and purple varieties.  They were made by adding food colouring to the ketchup, but sadly they weren’t a hit and they were discontinued in 2006.  Apparently people just couldn’t face eating their meals after squirting the colours all over their food.  Fosselman’s, a well known ice cream shop in Los Angeles that has been going for 91 years and does seasonal ice creams, every October the speciality is Black Liquorice and every August it’s Heirloom Tomato Sorbet.  But  no one beats the Japanese when it comes to weird flavoured food and drinks, they stretch that little bit extra and make Octopus, Wasabi, Cactus, Chicken Wing, Crab, Eel, Fish and Shrimp flavoured ice creams.  Well they beat us with everything else, cars, electronics and fashion, so why not this too?  So it seems that the world has been sucked into a competitive cycle, who can invent the weirdest drink flavour?  And we seem to want to own it!!  Now that is consumerism at its best!



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