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Lite Crème

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D-Lite Crème? Are any of those actual English 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 "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, minerals, and flavor 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. (Much more nutritious and tasty than Soylent Yellow and Red!)

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.

Lite Creme products may in fact taste like "normal" foods anyway, 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. See also Asbestos-Free Cereal and The Coconut Effect.

Compare Bland-Name Product, when your Froot'n'Nutz Choco-bar is made by "Cadberry's."


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  • At one time, "Lite" had no meaning and could be legally used on packages of lard. "Light" often referred solely to color, and not caloric content. Consumer attention paid to this term, though, has resulted in changes to marketing and (in 1993) to the relevant FDA regulations.
    • A special exemption was made for "light" olive oil: it still retains its label, and it still has the same caloric content as any other kind of oil — lots, since it's a type of fat. The term refers to its taste and colour: it has a more mild flavour and tends to be a pale yellow-green rather than the deep green of stronger oils. It's not much good on taste, but you can use it for higher-temperature applications than the stronger stuff.
  • Government regulations prevent use of the word "cream" to describe food products which contain no dairy cream. The word "creme" is used to create the impression of a creamy texture or flavor; as such, it's used where the product contains no cream, contains no dairy products at all, or isn't even edible. There's historical precedent to this sort of thing (e.g. creme de cassis). "Creme" snack cakes usually contain long-lasting vegetable shortening, giving them their legendarily long shelf life. "Creme soda" has a slightly different origin, as it's named after the ice cream traditionally added to the original drink.
  • Probably the best known indicator of a lack of any actual food product is the term "cheez".
    • If the phrase "cheese food" appears anywhere on the package, it may be neither. It sounds like cheese food isn't cheese, it is what cheese eats. In fact, "cheese food" is real cheese... kind of. It consists of at least half melted, reconstituted cheese; and no more than half, um, other things.
    • "Cheese food product" contains less than half cheese, and sometimes no cheese at all. In fact, any food with "product" in it is a worry.
    • When James Kraft invented Velveeta, the words "processed cheese" that appear on the packaging were a compromise with the court system. The rest of the cheese industry had been lobbying to force him to label it "embalmed cheese." Technically, Velveeta is based on a pretty standard cheese sauce recipe. It's got extra protein (in the form of whey and nonfat dry milk) added, so it'll set up into a semi-solid loaf, and instead of the roux note  a normal cheese sauce uses, it uses a starch-like gum called "alginate". Cheez Whiz is basically the same thing with the cream swapped out for vegetable oil, and flavors like mustard seed and Worcestershire sauce added. Neither is very good for you, mainly because of the salt and fat.
    • Cheese on pizza often isn't real cheese at all. Grated imitation cheese is often labeled as "pizza topping" or "grated cheese topping". And it's surprisingly easy to make a convincing imitation mozzarella from just soy milk and enterprising use of other flavorings.
    • Imitation Parmesan cheese runs into this in two ways. First is the fact that "Parmesan-style" cheese often isn't real cheese at all, leading to the "pizza topping" thing above. An additional wrinkle in Europe is that only cheese from the Parma region of Italy can be legally called Parmesan cheese (which Kraft gets around simply by calling it "Pamesello").
  • An item can only be labeled "chocolate" if it contains both cocoa solids or powder and cocoa butter. No such rule exists for foods labeled "chocolate-flavored", "fudge", or with misspellings like "choc" or "choco". Ironically, "chocolate-flavored" often means that the product is somewhat better for you than real chocolate; it often contains chocolate liquor but replaces cocoa butter with carnauba wax, which reduces fat, improves tempering, and still contains all the caffeine and serotonin mimics of regular chocolate.
    • If you come across "chocolatey", though, that's not good for you — that usually means "cocoa-flavored lard".
    • "White chocolate" is often contested as not being chocolate at all, since it contains no cocoa, only cocoa butter, sugar and milk. And that's the top-of-the-line stuff; most candy made to resemble white chocolate can't be legally called that, since it swaps out the cocoa butter for some other kind of solid fat. These go by "white confection," "vanilla baking chips," and so on. Most people don't seem to care.
  • Some products that claim to be "sugar-free" or "100% fruit juice" — and ostensibly healthier for you — will contain sugar anyway. The terms for "cane sugar" aren't set in law; cane sugar and cane syrup can be unprocessed, leaving in the molasses and its nutrients (and a lot of flavor) or pure sucrose (i.e. table sugar) derived from sugar cane rather than sugar beets. If it's not these, it's apparently not sugar.
    • They often get around this with "juice extract", which is basically sugar extracted from juice, so it doesn't count. "Pear juice extract" and "grape juice extract" are two of the biggest culprits here.
    • It's also common to fudge with the type of sugar this way. Producers can claim their products are "sugar-free" when they just lack sucrose and contain a different type of sugar, like fructose or glucose. On the other hand, now that people are catching on to evils of high-fructose corn syrup, they're touting their products as using "real sugar", even though they're just using glucose, the other half of the sucrose molecule. (Fructose is worse in inducing obesity, but it's much safer for diabetics.)
    • It's even possible to fudge the fruit the juice comes from. Many fruit juices be labeled things like "apricot nectar", "pear cocktail", "lemon drink", "blueberry punch", or "cherry blend". They consist of as little of the top-billed ingredient as legally possible (usually in the form of pulp), large amounts of filler juices (usually apple or white grape), lots of water, and sugar or other sweeteners. But sometimes it's necessary, because some juices in their pure form can be unpalatable to drink (like cranberry or lemon juice).
  • There have been at least four attempts to sue the makers of Froot Loops due to the lack of actual fruit in their product. So far, none have been successful, because of this trope.
  • Pet food suffers from this problem as well, as qualifiers are regulated but not generally known to the public. In decreasing order of beef content, you'll find: "beef", "beef dinner", "chicken and beef", and "beef-flavored". If it just says "meat" without specifying an animal, anything goes. Pet food also contains a startling amount of "meat byproducts", which technically aren't meat at all — they're skin, organs, and bone meal, so animal parts, but not muscle (not that your pet cares, and it's not that bad for them anyway).
  • On the human side, again, in descending order of ham content: "ham", "ham in natural juices", "ham with water added", and "ham and water product". The first two are okay, as the first refers to dry hams like American country ham and the various Old World cured dried hams,note , and the second refers to moister deli-style ham. The other two are total hambominations.
  • Flavorings and chemicals will often be touted as "all-natural", which has a whole host of problems outside the All-Natural Snake Oil trope:
    • The biggest is that artificial and natural flavors are chemically identical. The difference is that artificial flavors are built from scratch in a lab, whereas as natural flavors are extracted from naturally occurring plant matter — which is more expensive and inefficient. It's not better for you.
    • "Natural flavor" rarely specifies which flavors. For instance, there's often no citrus juice in a citrus-flavored food because citrus oil, which comes from the rind rather than the flesh, is a more effective flavoring agent. This is how 7-Up can simultaneously tout itself as using only natural flavors and at the same time containing no juice.
    • Word placement is also an issue. "Natural flavor" means what's described above; "natural lemon flavor", though, is a natural flavor that tastes "like lemons" but may not necessarily have ever been lemons. Several members of the mint and sage families (e.g. lemon verbena) have strong citrus components, as it happens.
    • And to add insult to injury, these flavors — whether natural or artificial — rarely taste anything like what they're supposed to imitate. This is because the flavors of actual fruits and such are hideously complex blends of up to thousands of chemicals, which are tricky (and expensive) to make in a lab. What cheap producers often do is simply isolate the few strongest chemicals in the flavor and synthesize that. This is how you get "strawberry flavor" In Name Only.
  • Vanilla flavoring is derived from orchids in the genus vanilla, native to Mexico. It contains a mixture of several hundred compounds, including vanillin, the most powerful chemical one can taste in vanilla. Extracting it is even harder than usual because it is very labor-intensive (and the vanilla beans are thus stupid expensive), so there are a few different ways to get around this:
    • Synthesize vanillin in a laboratory (which is now an "artificial" flavor);
    • Extract the same chemical from wood as a byproduct of paper making — less sexy, but fairly effective;note  or
    • Collect and ferment beaver secretions, a technique also used for French perfumes for at least 200 years.
  • In the U.S., many "uncured hot dogs" contain "no added nitrates" yet are indistinguishable from the regular kind. Read the fine print and you'll usually see a disclaimer like "except for those naturally present in celery juice" — celery juice being full of sodium nitrate. In other words, uncured hot dogs with no added nitrates have been cured with added nitrates, and this is legal. (True nitrate- and nitrite-free hot dogs are grey like other cooked sausages.) This is also becoming the case with bacon, and may affect ham, corned beef and other cured meats in the future.
  • There are no real rules on calling an animal something it's not just to make it sound more appetizing to people. Therefore, the Patagonian toothfish is better known as "Chilean sea bass", "dolphinfish" becomes "mahi mahi", and "king crab" is promoted as such despite biologically being closer to crayfish than real crabs. None of this, though, detracts from the actual quality of the product.
  • "Vegan" does not equal "vegetarian", so it's dangerous when you see a "vegan" product that really shouldn't be vegan (like "vegan chicken parmesan"). This is why you get such products as "vegan frozen dessert product", "vegan chik'n", "vegan wyngz" made out of texturized soy protein, and "diced meatless chiqin" actually made out of fungal protein.
  • Many jurisdictions distinguish hard liquor from beer and wine, with stricter regulation of the former. In some (like the US), the distinction is drawn from how it's made, so you end up with things that are basically mixed drinks being sold in beer and wine stores because the alcohol comes from a "malt beverage" (i.e. beer without the hops or anything else that makes beer good). In others (like Russia), the line is on alcohol by volume, so anything below that limit — whatever it's made of — is legally classified as "beer".
  • Maple syrup is Serious Business in places that produce it, like Canada and the northeastern U.S. As such, they both have extensive classification schemes for the real deal. Canada comes down hard on Ersatz maple syrup, so serious is the business there. But in the US, it's surprising what you can get away with. "Maple syrup" is the real deal. "Real maple syrup" and "natural maple syrup" are not. Look instead for the USDA sticker and classification in the US (Grade A/B Light/Medium/Dark Amber).
  • Avocados are infamous for not keeping well and thus being hellishly expensive outside of avocado-producing regions. This is primarily the circum-Caribbean region to which avocados are indigenous (particularly Mexico, though the Dominican Republic, Colombia, and Florida put in a good showing) plus neighboring regions (like California) and a few random places that happen to have good climates for it (the most significant for the export market being Peru,note  Indonesia, and South Africa). "Guacamole" products in places far from there tend to have relatively little avocado in them. In Mexico itself, Ersatz guacamole has to be called "huakamolez" flavor.
  • Pet-safe chocolate treats, which are actually made of carob since chocolate is toxic to most animals, are often labelled as "choc", especially in the UK.
  • Chicken "nuggets", "tenders", or "wyngz" are promoted as such to obfuscate where on the chicken the meat comes from. They're likely processed from scraps of breasts, thighs, and other cuts. That means that even "breast tenders" and "white meat tenders" seemingly offer better cuts than they really do. "Tenders" is particularly deceptive, because unlike pig or cow meat, where "tenderloin" refers to the most tender piece of meat on the animal, chicken tenderloin is functionally identical to the breast.
    • Zaxby's, a southern US fast food chain specializing in chicken, traditionally uses Xtreme Kool Letterz in its menu items (i.e. salads are called Zalads). However, they specially avoid doing so with their chicken wings (and other chicken cuts), because "chicken wyngz" implies that they are not chicken wings.
  • Meat pies, the Antipodean classic. Miscellaneous bits like tendons, ears, skin and snouts count as "meat". The meat may also come from camels and other random animals, instead of one of the more common domestic livestock, and even then the pie only has to be about a quarter animal bits to qualify as a meat pie. Mmmm, camel noses and soy filler. Delicious.
  • "Whole wheat bread" does not mean that it contains only whole grains — that's "100% whole wheat". Just "whole wheat" can mean as little as 1% whole grain. Some "wheat bread" is basically white bread with molasses added for coloring.
  • Potted Meat Food Product. "There aren't too many products that feel the need to reassure you that they are, in fact, 'food'."
  • You can often find a product in grocery stores sold next to the ice cream, in containers indistinguishable from the ice cream containers, that is rather unnervingly not referred to as "ice cream" but as "frozen dairy dessert", mainly because it doesn't contain any cream — or, for that matter, any milk fat at all; they achieve creaminess with vegetable oil. These desserts also have an unsettling trait of keeping their original shape even after melting, where real ice cream will completely liquefy.
  • If the stuff you're buying is in Spanish, beware of the word 'sucedáneo', which is a pretty obscure word for 'substitute', and 'producto', which means 'product'. That thing in your cart? It isn't butter, just a close enough substitute. Chocolate milk? Umm, no, just a milk product with something else (they won't tell you what) as a substitute of chocolate.
  • An actual medical doctor who specialises in diet is a dietician. Anyone can call themselves a "nutritionist" — the term simply describes a particular kind of quack. As Dara O'Briain points out, "dietician" is like "dentist", whereas "nutritionist" is like "tootheologist".
    • Not everywhere. In Quebec, "dietician" and "nutritionist" are legally equivalent; neither has to be a medical doctor, but both titles are restricted by law to members of the Ordre professionnel des diététistes du Québec, who must hold university degrees in their field.
  • "Vegetable" protein doesn't mean tomatoes and spinach. It means soy.
  • "Vegetable oil" can mean any of the thousands of different oils of plant origin, but mostly soy, corn, or sunflower oil. More often than not, they're made from seeds, which are botanically fruit rather than vegetables. And another common ingredient, canola oil, is a recent innovation.note 
  • Russian food producers avoid the country's strict food labeling regulations in several innovative ways:
    • Some turn their Lite Creme appellation into a brand name and put that in big letters on the product, with the real designation in fine print on the bottom. For instance, the law requires "yoghurt" to contain actual yoghurt bacteria. "Frughurt" has no such restrictions.
    • Some will use Russian diminutives, which are technically different words and outside the labeling requirement. "Smetana" (sour cream) has to be the real deal; the diminutive "smetanka" can easily contain all sorts of additives.
    • Some turn a noun into an adjective, creating something like "tvorozhnoye chudo" (lit. "cottage-cheesy wonder"). There's no regulation on what a "wonder" could be, so there you go. It works somewhat better than English use of the word "product" (which is never a good sign on your food).
    • Archaic appelations, i.e. ye Olde Butcherede Russiane are surprisingly common. "ПортвейнЪ" (roughly, "Ye Porte Whynne") is not port wine, but rather bum wine, probably produced from the byproducts of canning fruit.
    • Spreads made from plant oils can not be legally referred to as butter, however it is perfectly legal to call them by a single neuter gender adjective that implies that it's butter, such as "Сливочное", "Деревенское" or "Крестьянское".
  • Fast food chains are often accused of using this trope as a way of disguising their products' ingredients:
    • In late 2010, Taco Bell's "beef" was accused of consisting only of 35% beef, with the rest assorted chemicals and filler, and which couldn't legally be classified as beef. The claim is that the chain got around this by using the meaningless word "beefy". Taco Bell says that its taco filling contains 88% USDA-inspected beef, with the rest being water, spices, oats, starch, and other filler ingredients — this is common for almost all processed beef. In fact, making taco meat in a similar manner to theirs (cooked down in a sauce to become thick and paste-like, rather than simply browned and seasoned) will get you a similar ingredient ratio.
    • A common myth about Kentucky Fried Chicken (referenced in American Gods) is that the chain's name was changed to KFC, because they're not legally allowed to include "Chicken" in the title. The rumors said that Yum! Foods, the umbrella company that owns KFC, Taco Bell, and Pizza Hut, had genetically engineered "Creature 57", variously suspected to be a headless and eight-legged chicken or some sort of shmoo-like monstrosity whose flesh could be processed in different ways to create the various meat-ish substances that their various chains use. For the record, they actually changed it because of the negative consumer connotations that went along with the word "fried". (The competing claim that it's really because the state of Kentucky opportunistically trademarked the name looks legit right up until you notice that it's filed under "The Repository Of Lost Legends".)
    • There was also a longstanding myth that McDonald's used ground-up earthworms in their meat. Founder Ray Kroc put that one to bed by pointing out that he'd never do such a thing, because using nightcrawlers would've cost him five times as much per pound compared to beef.
  • In the UK there are incredibly stringent guidelines as to what can legally be described as a Meat Sausage, so the cheaper variations (often sold en-mass by catering wholesalers) get around this by using various other phrases to describe the product. Bangers is one popular term used, as it's also a popular British slang term for actual sausages. A documentary by The BBC a few years ago found that these products are mostly water and grain with very little meat in them (and often said meat is not fit for human consumption). Basically high fat emulsified offal tubes.
  • Do not confuse "krab" or "crab sticks" with "crab." "Crab" comes from an actual crustacean. "Krab" or "crab sticks" are actually pollock fish ground into a paste and formed into something resembling crab meat in terms of flavor...and a tube of string cheese in terms of appearance.
    • Nowadays you'd be lucky if you happen to find an actual fish there. Apparently, good ol' soy protein and enterprising use of additives/flavorings allows to make a crab stick without any animal matter.
      • Krab, unlike real crab, can be certified kosher — making it worthwhile for someone who wants to preserve the flavor of what would be a trayf dish.
  • A Finnish butter/vegetable oil mixture called "Voimariini" was forced to change its name due to it containing the Finnish word for "butter" (="voi") despite not being wholly butter. The change was due to an EU regulation prohibiting such "misleading" naming; the not-actually-butter in question had been called the same for about twenty years before the change and more or less everyone knew what it was.
  • The Scottish soft drink Irn-Bru changed its name from Iron Brew in the 1940s, partly because the new name was easier to trademark, but also because of proposed new advertising laws; it wasn't brewed. (It does, however, contain a tiny amount of ammonium ferric citrate.) The label currently declares that it's "Bru'd" in Scotland. The highly caffeinated, fluorescent orange drink tastes quite a bit like iron...or possibly blood.
    • They got to keep their slogan, "It's made in Scotland from girders!", but in at least some countries it's exported to the label now contains a disclaimer that it's not a source of dietary iron.
    • Ironically, beverages and products imitating the flavour of Barr's Irn-Bru now tend to call themselves Iron Brew.
  • "Potato chips" vs. "Potato crisps" in the US. Pringles were originally marketed as "Newfangled Potato Chips", but competing manufacturers complained that Pringles did not meet the definition of a potato chip (instead of being fried slices of potatoes, they're actually fried dough with only 42% actual potato content), which led to the FDA ruling in 1975 that the product could only use "chip" within the appellation "potato chips made from dried potatoes". Instead of using such an unpalatable name, Pringles were rebranded as "crisps", which neatly solved the problem but eventually led to similar complaints in the UK due to linguistic differences. Lay's Stax, which are very similar to Pringles, also uses the "crisps" term.
  • Lean Textured Beef, or pink slime, has been used as an additive to ground beef and pet foods since early in the millennium. Composed of parts no one would consider meat and treated with chemicals no one would consider edible, the beef lobby insists that it qualifies as beef but no one has attempted to sell it by itself to consumers. Indeed, an ABC News report in 2012 caused a massive backlash against it, leading to retailers and restaurant chains quickly dropping the additive from their ground beef offerings. Its largest producer, Beef Products Inc., sued ABC for defamation due to the lost business forcing them to close most of its plants; both settled out of court in 2017. Incidentally, this product is illegal in Canada and the EU due to the ammonia used in its production, though the similar Finely Textured Beef (which uses citric acid instead) is legal in Canada under certain conditions.
  • When General Mills revived Fruit Brute cereal in Fall 2013, they had to change the name to Frute Brute, since none of their monster cereals contain real fruit.
  • An aversion to much of the negative imagery surrounding "artificial" versus "natural": Artificial almond flavor is made from crude oil, but it's actually better for your health than natural almond flavor, as natural almond flavor contains a lot of hydrogen cyanide (the same cyanide that's associated with suicide and really is extremely toxic) whereas almond flavor derived from crude oil contains no hydrogen cyanide at all.
    • The natural almond flavor is mostly caused by the amygdalin, the cyanogenic glycoside common to the whole prune family,note  which is metabolysed into sugar, benzaldehyde and hydrogen cyanide, also known as Prussic or bluing acid. Both Prussic acid and benzaldehyde smells are surprisingly similar, so synthetic almond flavor is usually just pure benzaldehyde without the poisonous cyanide. That said, it's not that benzaldehyde is totally safe, though. It's also moderately toxic (the lethal dose for an average human is ~50g), so it's just a matter of choosing a lesser evil.
  • The curious candy eater might notice that Tic-Tacs aren't advertised as "sugar-free", but as having "0 grams" of sugar. As manufacturer Ferrero openly admits, FDA regulations allow them to use the number "0" if the amount of sugar per each serving (that being one mint) is less than 0.5 grams.
    • This is also why some diet sodas are '0 calories per serving, 10 calories per bottle'. If a serving is less than 10 calories, it gets rounded down, but a bottle is more than one serving (due to wanting to make the nutrition panel look better) so they have to add the full calorie count.
  • Supermarkets in Ireland stock both "Smoked Irish Salmon" and "Irish Smoked Salmon" — the former means it was sourced in Ireland, while the latter means it was smoked in Ireland.
  • Fanta Zero somehow gets away with having the words "Zero Sugar" right above the disclaimer "Contains naturally occurring sugars". Maybe they hoped that people would think that "natural" sugars are somehow better for you. Presumably they're allowed to do this because the drink contains less than 0.5% of an adult's daily sugar intake per 100ml, allowing them to legally round it down to 0%.
  • Hamburger vs. Ground Beef vs. Ground [whatever cut]. The main differences between the first two is whether or not any extra fat can be added. Both are made from leftover trimmings of various cuts, even high quality ones like prime rib. (With ground beef, no extra fat can be added. With hamburger, so long as the total fat does not exceed 30%, extra fat can be added from any cut.) With ground [whatever cut], all the lean and fat must come from the specified cut. And then you get into "lean" and "extra lean" ground beef, which is about the ratio of fat to actual meat. That can be a trade-off; lean and extra-lean ground beef are lower in fat and cholesterol (which can be appealing to health-conscious consumers), but somewhat less flavorful than their "regular" counterparts.
  • Cooking sprays (which are vegetable oils in aerosol cans meant to make lubing up pans for cooking easier) in the US can legally declare themselves to be fat-free or low-fat, despite being entirely made of fat. This is because if the fat in a single serving is at a low enough level, it can be considered "fat-free." (The problem with this where cooking spray is concerned, however, is that the "serving size" is much smaller than what would (or could) realistically be used to functionally lubricate a cooking pan.)

    Comic Books 
  • 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).

  • One of the Advertising examples above is subtly referenced in Jurassic Park. Hammond serves his guests "Chilean sea bass", which as noted is just toothfish with a fancier name, at the luxury hotel. It's foreshadowing of his attempts to cut corners despite having "spared no expense".

  • In Dorothy L. Sayers' 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:
    • CMOT Dibbler's genuine pig sausages. Not exactly pork, but definitely pig.
    • Seldom Bucket, the cheesemaker from Maskerade, has an advertisement in The Compleat Ankh-Morpork City Guide for his "Mostly Cheese Spreads".
  • In Ward, one chapter has two men attempting to steal goods from a supermarket. The more experienced man advises his student to look for products with the wrong names, such as 'cleansing bars' instead of 'soap'- things that are so full of preservatives that the makers aren't legally allowed to call it what it's meant to be, because the preservatives mean that the goods last and can be resold.

    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).
    • Loobster was actually an alternative to the restaurant's specialty, "Roast Bif."
  • 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."
    • Also mocked in the Parody Commercials for Didldidi (itself a Bland-Name Product version of Lidl), which advertise products such as a "chicken-style oven roaster," labeled "Land Gull."
      "There's only one week left before the new trade descriptions act comes into force, and that means it's BARGAINS BARGAINS BARGAINS week at DIDLDIDI!"
  • Parodied in Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job! with the phony lamb product, "H'amb". It's a ham loaf with the "essence of lamb" mixed in with it. It even comes with a lamb scent spray to drive the illusion further.
  • In Will & 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".
  • 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".
  • The 1984 Christmas special of Yes, Minister, "Party Games," gives us an invocation: An EEC regulation regarding sausages was in the works that would force the vast majority of British bangers to be sold not as sausages but as "emulsified high-fat offal tubes" because they consisted mostly of fillers like fat, entrails, and bread rusk rather than actual meat. By the end of the episode, however, Hacker gets the Eurocrats to agree to allow them to be sold instead as "British sausages," a feat he rides to Number Ten.
    Stand-Up Comedy 
  • George Carlin talked about this in one of his stand-up routines.
    ”Real lemony taste!” You know what that means, right? NO FUCKING LEMONS!

    Video Games 
  • 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). Given the Atom Punk nature of the Pre-War setting, it's not hard to infer the equally unappealing possibility that they are real food, but simply remain edible because they were irradiated to the point that no bacteria would dare go near them.
  • 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".
  • Burgerpants' counterpart in Deltarune works as a mascot selling "pezza". In his own words, he has been told:
    "Be a team player, there's no I in PEZZA!" YES THERE IS. YOU JUST TOOK IT OUT.

    Web Comics 
  • One strip of Ozy and Millie has Llewellyn and Ms. Mudd hang a lampshade on this while out shopping for cereal. They come across such brands as "Aple Squares", "Froot-O's", and "Sinn-A-Munn Crispies."
    Llewellyn: (while looking at the ingredients list for the latter) I wasn't aware there were so many synonyms for "sugar."
  • Eben explains this to Snooch in this Two Lumps page.
    Eben: They should probably call it "fud", just to be safe.

    Web Originals 
  • Ad Turds, among many other things to do with deconstructing dishonesty and sloppy standards in advertising, as well as the tendency of ad agencies to treat consumers like dolts, regularly vilifies examples of such weasel words in advertising.

    Western Animation 
  • 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?
      Dolph: 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 around 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.