While we're on the very specific subject of things, I drank a milk thing this evening. You know, one of those splurgs of coloured milk that they put in rectangular pieces of cardboard and sell at train stations and 7/11s and the like.
As splurgs of coloured milk go it wasn't bad, but what really struck me about it was the labelling. I would have been happy with just the name, you know, FUNKY BANANA (disclosure: the name of the product was not FUNKY BANANA) and the ingredients on it, but oh no. Not this package. It insisted on having the name, and the ingredients, and a description of the ingredients on it as well. It said something like this:
BANANA-FLAVOURED milk with REAL BANANA taste
Of course it's that combination of 'banana-flavoured' and 'real banana' that puzzles, so I turned to the ingredients and found
Banana concentrate (four per cent)
(Disclosure in addition to the disclosure above: the ingredients did not say 'random stuff' and 'things' on them. They were more specific than that.)
A couple of things about this: 'banana' to 'banana concentrate' probably stands in pretty much the same relation as 'a breakfast table' stands to 'a breakfast table chopped up into little pieces and put through the wood mulcher and then packed into a little box and put in the bin at work'. And if they had so much faith in this 'banana concentrate' then why'd they chuck it in with the 'banana flavouring' as well? (Not that I have anything against fake banana flavour, though. Some of my favourite bananas are fake bananas. Fake bananas taste real good.)
Anyway, what kind of person do you have to be to keep on coming up with ideas for new brands of banana-flavoured milk that, strangely, taste very similar to the brands of banana-flavoured milk that preceded them? Can you just imagine a milk-company CEO storming into his executive meeting and shouting, 'For too long, customers have had to put up with this inferior brand of banana-flavoured milk, the one where they have to shake the carton before opening it. WE HAVE TO INVENT A BANANA-FLAVOURED MILK THAT CUSTOMERS DON'T HAVE TO SHAKE. Oh, and tell customers how good it is on the packaging. WE'LL MAKE A KILLING ON THE MARKET!' I mean, it's never going to cause the revolution, is it?
And then I stopped thinking about it and drank the rest of my splurg of coloured milk before catching the train.
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