the state of things

 

Butter Enriched Marketing Drivel

by Douglas Lindsay - 09:15 on 09 December 2008

It’s a cold, grey morning in Warsaw. Oppressive low clouds, the gloom of early December hanging over the city, a dull succubus to the spirit of the town, the normally ebullient and gregarious Poles transformed into a scowling, misanthropic bunch...

I’m sitting at the kitchen table beside the mince pies that TPCKAM brought back from the UK yesterday evening. Her family thought she’d gone back to see them; the kids thought she was going back to buy their Christmas presents; in truth, I sent her back to stock up on mince pies.

We have here Mr Kipling’s Mince Pies and we’re going to examine the packaging. There’s no point in examining the mince pies because, well, they’re mince pies...

The cover of the mince pie box is gold and red, the obvious festive colours. Green must not be in this year. The mince pies are termed, after the Mr Kipling fashion, exceedingly merry. Now the pies are just pies, they don’t have any feelings whatsoever, and if they did actually feel anything - given that they spend their life trapped in a box before briefly seeing daylight and then getting eaten - it’s a fair chance that they’re not flippin’ merry. Mr Kipling’s Exceedingly Pissed Off Mince Pies perhaps. Mr Kipling’s Crushingly Depressed Mince Pies. But you know, it’s Christmas, it’s mince pies, it’s a reasonably forgivable piece of Marketing Pish (MP).

Underneath the large 94-point font Mince Pies, (just in case you’re not sure what that mince pie-type object in the picture actually is) it states ...butter enriched fluted pastry cases. Now that, frankly, has MP coming out its arse. It’s a mince pie for goodness sake, it has pastry round it. If it didn’t, it wouldn’t be a flippin’ pie, would it? It’s different but not that far off those packets of peanuts with contains nuts written on the packet. And butter enriched? It’s a mince flippin’ pie, of course there’s butter in the pastry. On the back, where it repeats the butter enriched claim, it says butter(4%)... 4% doesn’t sound very enriched. In fact, that sounds positively deprived. TPCKAM also returned with a box of Tesco’s 12 mini mince pies. Actually they’re not very nice, they’re not even as good as Mr Kipling’s rapturously ecstatic mince pies. But they have 15% butter. So where do the Kipling guys get off with their butter enriched? MP...

In the right hand corner of the box cover there is a picture of a mince pie sitting on a table on its own. Beside it is written serving suggestion. Sure, it usually states serving suggestion beside the picture on the box. Who knows why, other than that they are assuming their customers to be incredibly stupid. In this case they have to illustrate that the mince pie is served without chips and peas.

However the peculiar thing here is that there’s a bite out of the mince pie. How stupid is that? Is that their serious serving suggestion? That you should serve it to someone with a bite taken out it? How much Christmas cheer is that going to cause?

:Here you go Aunt Agnes, have a mince pie.
:There’s a flippin’ bite out of this!
:That’s what it says on the box.

A scene that is being repeated all over Britain as we speak.

The thing is, they’re perfectly good mince pies. They don’t need all the MP. Someone, somewhere, has pressed a button, and now nothing is allowed to be put on sale without annoying MP attached to it. The only surprise here is that the Mr Kipling people haven’t described their mince pies, which are the same every year, as their best ever.


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