as part of my near year's resolution plan to lose a million pounds and become gorgeous, i am having yogurt for lunch today. yum yum yum. it is dannon, and raspberry-flavored, and it has Fruit On The Bottom, which sounds like something yelled out by the last guy onto the hate-crime gang rape pile.
Opening the yogurt, i sort of vaguely noticed that its tranquil white surface was a bit lower from the top of the cup than i was really expecting. And in bringing the Fruit On The Bottom up to the top, and then sort of mushing it around so that it was now Fruit Everywhere With Particular Areas Of Concentration In Those Edges Of The Bottom Which My Spoon Did Not Reach, i very non-vaguely thought to myself how useful that extra space was in terms of stirring without generating spillage.
Now it's important to note at this juncture that i am very much of the school of Read Absolutely Everything, which means for example that I can recite both the french and english versions of the ingredients in my shampoo and am also aware of the advertising rates for Vogue and the method for ordering from Design Within Reach via postal mail and the usage instructions for my moisturizer ("apply to face"). So in keeping with this, i was reading the yogurt cup and I noticed that, in fact, they had noticed the extra space as well, and were calling attention to it with a note just above the nutrition information:
Room in every cup for your favorite mix-ins... Create your own yogurt experience.I was all set to write a fuming post about this - how these devilish folks at Dannon are making us humble consumers feel grateful to the company for their deceptive packaging - see how big the cup is! that must be a lot of yogurt! - but then i realized that, like a tesselation generator or my relationship history, a pattern was forming.
Besides the recasting of the oversized packaging as thoughtfully provided space for "your favorite mix-ins" (aside: wtf? are there people out there who actually do this who are not, in their spare time, my grandparents? and does mix-in space actually factor in to their yogurt-purchasing experiences?), the tinfoil lid self-congratulatorily notes Dannon's decision to stop producing their see-through "overcaps," thus saving an arbitrarily determined 3.9 million pounds of plastic (and in the process pissing off those of us who like to spread our yogurt-eating out over more than one sitting or perhaps protect it from errantly-flicked paperclips). I'm willing to bet, say, your life that Dannon execs were not sitting around in a boardroom in their French corporate headquarters (fun fact: in french, Dannon is spelled Danon. Why? Who cares.) and were like "you know what is a huge problem? Landfill spread. What can we, a lowly yogurt conglomerate, do to help offset this?" No. They were like "I want a raise. Stop producing some facet of our yogurt product so we can reroute the money to my Swiss account. Baby needs a new pair of outriggers." So goodbye plastic overcaps, hello feel-good environmental message on the foil caps.
And then there is the greatest scam of all! The Fruit On The Bottom! This is an institution, ladies and gentlemen. It is a freaking copyrighted phrase. It is the NAME of the goddamn PRODUCT. It is not actually "Dannon Yogurt." It is "Dannon Fruit On The Bottom." And they have convinced us over the decades that this is a GOOD THING! That we LIKE our fruit on the bottom. That the top is a stupid place to put the fruit! Only nazis and racists put their fruit on the top, what are you, some kind of nazi or racist? That the act of mixing the fruit up into the yogurt is FUN and INTERACTIVE and makes the act of yogurt-eating somehow more exciting or delicious than it would be if the fruit were anywhere but on the bottom!
This is painfully obvious when you (over)think about it. The fruit on the bottom is nothing more than a time-saving measure. They squirt the fruit into the plastic cup. They squirt the yogurt on top of the fruit. They seal it (mindfully not putting on the plastic overcap). This way they don't have to do any costly mixing, they don't have to worry about portioning out the yogurt to the fruit in terms of demand, and they have CONVINCED US THAT IT IS WHAT WE WANT.
Oh my god I am moving to the mountains and becoming an anarchist. I will wear a tinfoil hat. Not even the yogurt is safe to eat.
having eaten the yogurt, i now feel nauseous (nauseated?). the yogurt is out to get me. if i die, know that i love you.
posted in: rant, food