Monday, June 15, 2009

Sweet and Sour

I went to the candy aisle today to get some Sour Starburst, and I thought they were out for a minute, but as if left there just for me, a package with the word "sour" sat to the side of a large shelf hole where its compatriots used to be... or so I thought. For I found later, upon eating the first blue-wrappered candy, that this was not my sour blue raspberry tasty. No, as I came to realize after fulling reading the package, this was a "new" flavor, no-marketing ploy, no, flavor, I guess: the "sweet raspberry." And the name was perfectly descriptive. The chew was sickly sweet, a treacly abomination, especially for one expecting the satisfying bite and teeth clinch of a sour Starburst.

The Offender.

You see, Mars Corporation, to try to expand its already diluted line of over-stretched brand- I mean candies- has added this new half sweet, half sour package where you get 3 "sweet blue raspberry" candies, three "sweet strawberry" ones and 3 each of the sour watermelon and green apple Starbursts. The package says "Starburst Sour," but to the side of that, it says "Sour 6 chews / Sweet 6 chews." I did not read this part.

Now, I am all for brand development if quality is not sacrificed. A diversified candy world is a great world. However, Starburst mostly has two great fruit chew packages and a slew of trash. There are the original, which are top ten in the candy pantheon, and there are the sours, also very strong. And, granted, their Gummy Bursts and Starburst Easter jellybeans (Joosters) are very nice. Solid additions to the brand. The rest of the fruit chew line, however, is for dilettantes dabbling in the sweet science. Berries and Creme chews? I think not. Am I eating yogurt or candy here? Icy Bursts? What the hell is a Kiwi Snowberry? Where is that grown? In the Arctic Tropical regions? Soda Slammers? Yeah, that's what we've been waiting for: chewable soda.Like I say, these are quite solid. This kind of expansion is fine: take the original flavor and change the vehicle.

Listen, Starburst (Mars), you guys are great-- nobody's saying that you aren't great. But all these perversions of a great product are diluting your brand, not enhancing it. Also, can I have my dollar back? You clearly are marking these packages abstrusely so that people like me will accidentally try these nasty bits you are marketing now.

1 comment:

  1. Its true - just the other day I went to the Indian food-store to buy some candy, and I bought a mars bar. And it was stale as hell. Its probably because it took 3 years to find its way here, but regardless, Fuck you, Mars, fuck you.