Friday, September 22, 2006

Backwards Innnovation

Ok, the Wienermobile has been souped up, and Oscar Meyer is touting their new "fast franks" as the solution to after-school snacks. A hotdog, in a bun, all microwaveable! Oh, what shall they think of next?

Here's the blurb:
It’s mouthwatering to imagine -- a tasty, hot and juicy Oscar Mayer hot dog wrapped inside a soft and warm bakery-fresh bun. And now imagine only having to wait thirty-five seconds for that first delicious bite.
Oookay. Well, I always eat my hotdogs (not Oscar Meyer, but Nathans) in a bun, and I'm certainly not waiting more than 35 seconds for it. Just how do they think people are preparing hotdogs? And just what fabulous "time savings" are they actually providing by removing that oh-so-onerous task of actually putting the hotdog in the bun by ourselves. Oh, the humanity!

They go on to wax rhapsodic about the warm, bakery-fresh bun and how "Preparation is easy, and there's no cook top mess or boiling water." Huh? Prepapration was hard before? These are hotdogs, people. Not coq-au-vin.

I have to wonder exactly what century are the marketing drones living in. Do you know anyone who actually boils a hotdog nowadays? I, like everyone else, microwave my hotdog (for about 30 seconds), pop in a bun, and go. This is not rocket science.

However, by trading off the two separate steps of heating the hotdog and then the bun for a single-step process, Oscar Meyer believes that they have made this easier and are saving me time. Well, all I can imagine from microwaving a bun is a soggy, steamy bun. They claim they are "leveraging proprietary dough technology" to avoid this. I just had to laugh. I didn't realize that this was a serious enough problem to warrant scientific study and extensive research.

I'm sure it appeals to people who want things "instantly" and want to expend no effort to get things. I mean, I love to have things "easy" -- who doesn't? -- but I can't see how this actually addressed a pressing need to save us time or effort. It might actually be harder -- you have to unwrap the hermetically sealed cellophane baggies, and carefully time the steamed-bun process. Ok, maybe it doesn't involve a paper towel to wrap your hotdog in. That might be the sum of the savings right there.

Talk about filling a niche that doesn't actually exist.


Laura said...

Kids. It's all about marketing to the kids. What do kids want? Easy, convenient, fast, no work. Pop that one package in the microwave and poof! Easy, convenient, fast snack. Otherwise, you'd have to not only find the hot dogs in your mom's kitchen, but also the buns.

Kids - it's all about marketing to kids!

Laura said...

I should add -- it is also YUCKY SOUNDING!!!! Eeeeew on microwaving the hot dog in the bun -- sounds like a recipe for soggy wet bread to me.