A few days ago, my friend Jessica and I set off to Hollywood Video in pursuit of disc 2 and 3 of the great, short lived series Freaks and Geeks. While renting the discs, we decided we wanted a snack and perused the candy display. Being a fairly dedicated follower of all that is gummy I refused to buy any non-gummy candy. That left the choice between Sour Patch Kids, Finding Nemo gummies(umm...overstocked for three years?), and The Simpsons fruit snacks. In general, I will always choose Sour Patch Kids over any gummy candy (save gummy lifesavers) but in this case we chose to purchase the Simpsons fruit snacks mainly due to the Simpsons branding. Now Im well aware of the shameless Simpsons branding that has gone on in the past few years and have avoided the Simpsons brand but in this case the snacks were new, cheap, and a product I was already intending to buy.
When we got back to my house and opened the fruit snacks we discovered just how shameless Simpsons branding had become: The fruit snacks were in the shape of FRUIT, which means the only thing about the product that had anything to do with the Simpsons was the packaging. Now I've been eating gummies since I was a kid and have had many, many movie/tv show branded fruit snacks and NEVER have the snacks not been in the shape of the characters from the movie/show. What's next? plain yellow #2 pencils thrown in a box and sold as Simpson's pencils? Selling Simpsons underwear that turn out to be plain Haynes when you open them?
After a few beers, our anger toward Taste of Nature, Inc. and Simspons marketing manifested itself in the letter posted below. Hopefully, someone from either Taste of Nature, Inc. or The Simpsons will respond to our hand-mailed letters. While that's doubtful, the act of getting drunk and writing letters to companies that piss me off was quite pleasurable.
We would like to take this opportunity to supply some feedback on a product that bears your company’s name. We recently purchased some fruit snacks whose packaging prominently featured characters from one of our favorite television shows, “The Simpsons.” We were immensely disappointed to discover, upon opening them, that not one of the actual fruit snacks bared any resemblance to characters from the show. Although we found the snacks to be delicious, the fact remains that they were made in the image of generic representations of fruit, and not of characters trademarked by Matt Groening (as implied by the packaging). We based our decision to purchase this product solely on the presumption that each flavor of fruit snack would be embodied by a different loveable Simpsons character. We will allow that the bunch of grapes was reminiscent of Marge’s hair, but that is hardly acceptable. We feel that this product is a cheap gimmick; a gross misrepresentation to the Simpsons’ loyal fan base and ultimately a violation of its trust. A breech of this nature is detrimental to the Simpson’s brand as a whole. We consider ourselves avid fans of the show, as well as the brand, and this whole experience has left us reluctant to consider purchasing Simpsons branded merchandise in the future. Therefore, we ask that you reconsider packaging nonspecific fruit snacks in wrapping that portends to contain genuine Simpsons merchandise.
Thank you for your time,
Adam Rugg and Jessica Munsch
So in conclusion, don't buy Simpsons fruit snacks unless you really, really like the packaging.
You are plainly mistaken. Those fruit snacks are in the shape of fruit that has actually appeared on various episodes of The Simpsons. Don't you remember that one episode with the lemons and Shelbyville? Surely the snacks are based on that episode. Or at least if the company is crafty or has any knowledge of The Simpsons, that's what they'll say. In fact, I think such an act would be in the spirit of a real Simpsons joke.
Or, maybe the fruit snacks are in the shape of fruit snacks that have appeared on the show?
Anyway, there should have at least been one flavor shaped as Bart's shorts.
Posted by: Chris Santoro at August 3, 2006 5:36 PM
It should also taste like Bart's shorts.
In fact, I think there's a woeful dearth of salty, crotch-flavored snack food. We're simply not doing a good job of training youngsters one day to be great lovers.
Posted by: Barzelay at August 4, 2006 3:28 PM
I love the Simpson's Fruit Snacks! They are very yummy!!
Posted by: david at December 22, 2007 12:23 PM