Published On: Tue, Apr 2nd, 2024

April Fools’ food pranks we’re so glad aren’t real

April Fools’ food pranks we’re so glad aren’t real
April Fools’ food pranks we’re so glad aren’t real

In an era of stunt products and crazy collabs (yes, Thin Mint cookie-scented deodorant and mustard Skittles actually exist), it’s getting harder to spot the kind of April Fools’ Day pranks food companies like to pull every spring.

This year, it seems that the marketing departments that come up with these kinds of things were in a particularly deranged mood, “inventing” a slew of products that range from the slightly clever to downright revolting. And now our email inboxes and social media feeds are overflowing with a fresh round of bizarre food-based offerings — many of which we are really, really glad aren’t real.

Move over, Irish Spring — how about lathering up with a scent that immediately makes people think of crabs? The iconic seasoning brand has gone on a spree of collaborations and spinoffs in the last few years, from Goldfish crackers to hot sauce to vodka, which might make this one seem slightly plausible. But the signs that this was an (orange-stained) tongue-in-cheek debut were there, starting with the packaging, which boasts that it’s “great for your legs” — next to a picture of a chicken leg. And while we don’t expect to see this on shelves, one fan spoke for the spice’s legendarily cultish fan base: “I know this is April Fools but I would 10000% grease myself up like a chicken with this,” they commented.

Personal-care items crossed with food was a strong theme in this year’s batch of April Fools’ jokes, and this one — by Lee Kum Kee, the maker of a sriracha-kicked-up mayonnaise — was particularly stomach-churning. “Freshen up and keep those cavities away with a bold, spicy flavor built for top tier oral hygiene,” the company posted on Instagram. “Who’s up for a flavorful surprise?”

We are pretty sure we have the answer: No one. Literally no one.

Dole’s canned pineapple and ham

The U.K. arm of the famed fruit company seemed to be poking Hawaiian pizza haters by combining the divisive toppings in a single can. While we love a good pineapple-studded baked ham — and think that people should top their pies with whatever makes them happy — the idea of slippery canned meat drowning in sweet juice might be enough to make a person join in on the hate.

Here’s where things in the Golden Age of Weird and Unnecessary Collabs get reallll murky. Is the mashup between Hidden Valley Ranch and Smarties candy genuine? It seems not, given that its announcement was hashtagged #AprilFoolsDay. But when you’re dealing with a salad dressing brand that has lent its signature flavor to ice cream and lip balm, it’s hard to know for sure.

Sour cream and onion soda

At least the good people of chips-in-tubes-maker Pringles and Olipop soda had the decency to definitively label their “collaboration” — a bubbly drink imbued with the savory chip flavors — as a hoax. “April Fools” reads the last photo in the slide show showing cute young people enjoying the improbable combination a little too enthusiastically.

Wait, this one is — real. The maker of the famously vibrant-orange “cheese product” apparently thinks people want their tresses to match their nacho sauce, and have debuted a semi-permanent dye that it promises “isn’t just a change in hair color, but a declaration of a bold and confident attitude.” The date of its introduction might make people think twice, but it seems the product is actually available for purchase. It’s not the brand’s first foray into the beauty world, either: In 2022, it offered a limited-edition nail polish that smelled of its signature product.

Okay, here is a fake product that we will allow. For one, this Scotch whisky from the makers of Scotch tape does not sound disgusting! It’s a play on words, see, and it does not rely on a gag-inducing flavor profile for laughs. And what can we say, we like the idea of our desk-supply drawer getting friendly with our liquor cabinet. Kudos, too, for clear labeling: After posting the initial faux product news, the company followed up with a second post making clear that it was just having a little seasonal fun. “As you may know … all scotch is whisky but not all whisky is scotch,” the post read, “just like all Scotch® Brand Tape is tape, but not all tape is Scotch™ Brand.”

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