D-Lite Creme? Are any of those actual words?
...[my son's] diet consists entirely of products which advertise on Saturday morning cartoon shows and which, for legal reasons, have their names spelled wrong (Noo Creemy Choc'n'Cheez Lumps O'Froot)
The implication of qualities or ingredients in a product that aren't there because of certain words or spellings of words that vary from the standard. This is usually done to get around government regulations on truth in advertising laws. This is how you end up with products like fruit/citrus "punch" when a drink contains no actual fruit juice, "choc" or "choco" when something contains little to no actual chocolate, and "creme" spread that contains no dairy cream. The intent of the law was to prevent advertisers from using words like "chocolate" and "cream" to describe products that didn't contain the ingredients mentioned, but the feds didn't count on consumer illiteracy
; too many people now assume that "froot with choco creme" is the same thing as "fruit with chocolate cream", and assume they're getting vitamins and minerals they really aren't. And advertisers happily take advantage of it.
Generally speaking, added quantifiers indicate lower amounts of an actual ingredient. If the product also uses Xtreme Kool Letterz
, any nutritional value and unadded flavors are likely an unintentional side-effect. You're probably better off eating Soylent Green
more nutritious and tasty than Soylent Yellow and
Consumers during the age of mass food production in the 19th century lobbied against artificial foods being sold alongside 'normal' food and demanded such food be distinctly labeled; margarine, for example, received a push to be dyed pink so consumers would not confuse it for actual butter, and for a while it was illegal in some places to sell margarine that was dyed butter-yellow (It's naturally white, and even today, margarine is dyed bright yellow whereas natural butter is pale). Company lobbyists learned using Lite Creme was an easy escape, as no one wanted an ominous 'artificial' label on their product. Official nutritional labels on products are somewhat
more informative, though overly technical writing can obscure this for the same reasons. Ingredients being listed in decreasing order does not specify actual amounts, nor does the use of several names to indicate variations on essentially the same ingredient.
Note Lite Creme
products may in fact taste like 'normal' foods, and brands being sold directly
as food replacements (such as vegan) directly advertise as such. In general, as All-Natural Snake Oil
can tell you, there's nothing particularly wrong with something being a processed food in and of itself, and things that are "natural" can be just as unhealthy as Froot Choco-Cheez. Generally though, Lite Creme
in the public image brings to mind bizarre concoctions of usually unhealthy additives.
Compare Bland-Name Product
, when your Froot 'n' Nutz Choco-bar is made by "Cadberry's."
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- Spoofed in Judge Dredd where the fizzy wine-like beverage is called Shampane. note
- Endemic in Dredd, since it's a Soylent Soy future. Mockchoc is another one.
- Sam & Max go to the carnival to bust a bootleg corndog seller, whose establishment proudly proclaims "It's fooode!" (trademark).
- In Dorothy L. Sayers's Lord Peter Wimsey novel, Murder Must Advertise Lord Peter, who is working undercover at an ad agency as a copywriter explains the limitations and requirements of the English labeling laws in some detail to his sister and brother-in-law while visiting them.
- Discworld has CMOT Dibbler's genuine pig sausages. Not exactly pork, but definitely pig.
- Seldom Bucket, the cheesemaker from Maskerade, has an advertisment in The Compleat Ankh-Morpork City Guide for his "Mostly Cheese Spreads".
Live Action TV
- In the early 90s Comedy Central briefly had a show called Comedy Product.
- There was also the activist/comedy show The Mark Thomas Comedy Product.
- In Cheers, Cliff mentions a favourite restaurant that serves "loobster" (with two "o"s).
- In one episode of Friends, Monica takes a job attempting to create palatable recipes using "Mockolate". Which may or may not have been made out of pure, concentrated evil.
- In a That Mitchell and Webb Look sketch set in the research department of haircare product makers Laboratoire Garnier, Monsieur Garnier congratulates one lab technician on the invention of the word ‘Nutrisse’ - "Which sounds like ‘nutrition’ but doesn’t guarantee it."
- In Will and Grace the eponymous pair dine at a restaurant which serves Lobbster stuffed with Cheeeeese.
- One episode of The Drew Carey Show had him accidentally buying his girlfriend a box of "beljan chorklet".
- In Star Trek: The Next Generation, Synthehol is used to replace alcohol in settings where intoxication could be deleterious, but many characters look down on its taste. People drinking it often aren't told that it's not real alcohol until after they comment on its differences. And it may become real soon enough.
- Anything that comes out of the replicators isn't what it looks, smells, or tastes like. It's base molecules and proteins broken down by a transporter beam and rematerialized in a completely different molecular pattern. Waste matter, dirty dishes and miscellaneous rubbish are disposed of via the same process used to replicate food. Think about that for a minute.
- It's not stated explicitly, but considering "real" food and fresh produce in The Verse of Firefly are only available to the richest of the rich (and criminals), the "Fruity Oaty Bars" most likely contain only artificial fruit and may even have synthesized oats.
- In Sister Sister, the twins worked at a food court burger stand for a while. Their main product was a sandwich that could not be legally called a "hamburger" due to its use of a "meat-like patty".
- Many Krusty Brand products in The Simpsons TV show and comic books fall under this trope:
- The Krusty Burger (a "meat-flavored sandwich").
- Krusty Partially Gelatinated Non-Dairy Gum-Based Beverage.
- Krusty's Non-Dairy Non-Ice Cream Whey Product Sandwich.
- Krusty Brand Bite-A-Min's Imitation Vitamins.
- Krusty Burger's Beef-Flavored Chicken. At least they were honest about their Whatchamacarcass Sandwich.
Krusty: "I used non-diseased meat from diseased animals."
- The school cafeteria serves "malk" instead of milk. It may or may not come from rats. Now with Vitamin R!
- The teacher's lounge offers "coffee-flavoured beverine" with "creamium".
- The kids at Kamp Krusty were served Krusty Brand Imitation Gruel.
Lisa: "You're serving us gruel?"
Kearney: "Not quite. (reveals the steel barrel containing the product) This is Krusty Brand Imitation Gruel. Nine out of ten orphans can't tell the difference."
- King of the Hill had Hank go into a health food store and get "not dogs". They're hot dogs made from tofu. He responded that he was allergic to tofu. Not surprisingly, they had fauxfu. What would "fauxfu" be made from? The show doesn't say, but there are pseudo-tofus available to the soy-allergic, often made from wheat gluten...which other people are allergic to.
- In the Futurama episode "Fry Am The Egg Man", the Planet Express crew go to a fast food restaurant called Fishy Joe's and Leela orders a fruit cup:
Leela: Oh, god. Fruit is spelt F-R-O-O-T. And it's got quotation marks round it!
- Clone High features "X-Stream Blu," which is packed with "nutramites" and has a list of healthful-sounding "ingrediments"... follows by its actual ingredients, which are pancake batter and blue house paint.
- In Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney: Trials And Tribulations, there's a scene where Phoenix tries a meal from the restaurant Tres Bien. Maya (temporarily working as a waitress) introduces the meal as some complicatedly-named dish involving lobster. When you discuss the (horrible) meal with the owner and chief cook of the restaurant, and Maya mentions the complicated name, he tells her that there is no lobster in the dish. He reminds her that the menu clearly states that it's a dish inspired by [complicated lobster dish], and Phoenix remarks "but it may not contain any actual lobster."
- Apparently averted in the Fallout world, where it's common to find "Apples" and "Salisbury Steak" that are still edible after 200 years. Fallout Tactics lampshades the improbability of accurate labels on pre-war foodstuffs (and at that point, it's a mere 120 years).
- Judging from a Dummied Out audio diary in BioShock, real beef doesn't exist in Rapture. In BioShock 2, there are advertisements for "Beef•e" potted meat. Averted with "Calci-O" brand artificial milk, however; it at least claims to contain real calcium (which is probably true; seashells are made of calcium carbonate, a common food additive in Real Life) and bills itself openly as a "milk substitute".