Marketing With Food Dares


Some people consider eating chicken feet and head cheese a dare, but in the US it’s not so much about oddities as it is about going big. With popular shows like Man vs. Food and the recent onslaught of fast food dares, it becomes obvious the recipe for success comes down to extreme comfort food, extreme Americana, and extreme calories…all in the name of entertainment, of course.

Perfect example: The Double Down

KFC Double Down

KFC’s  testoterone alluring monstrosity got the attention they had intended, making headlines all over by taking two pieces of fried chicken and using them to sandwich two slices of Monterey Jack and pepper jack cheese, two slices of bacon and a special sauce. An LA times blog says it has 800 calories 46 grams of fat, while the Washington Post says only 540 calories with 32 grams of fat. -90 calories lighter than McDonald’s Premium Crispy Chicken Club Sandwich. It contains 1,380 milligrams of sodium while 1500 a day or less is recommended.

Carl's Jr Footlong Burger

Most recent to the extreme caloric scene is the Carl’s Jr. hamburger footlong. That’s right. 8 patties of meat and probably 1500 calories. Nutritional information is not yet available.

Friendly's Grilled Cheese Burger Melt

Stephen Colbert recently touted the news of Friendly’s new grilled cheese burger melt. At 1500 calories (seems to be the standard) and 2090mg of sodium, I think no one can express their excitement over this sandwich like Colbert can. I urge you to check out his food thoughts on the grilled cheese burger melt here.

When did this madness begin?

In recent memory, the team making calories work for them in the biggest way was the Gateway Grizzlies, a minor league baseball team in Southern Illinois, just outside of St. Louis, MO.  The Grizzlies, known more for their death-defying ballpark food than their hitting, touched off the craze in 2006 by adding a $4.50 donut burger to the concession lineup. Going the extra mile, the Grizzlies deep-fried their glazed donut before slapping it on the bacon cheeseburger. Attendance soared.

But wait! It’s just keeps getting better! Moving the trend ever forward, the marketing gurus for the Grizzlies now sell a new gutbuster made of 1.6 pounds of meat topped with salsa, sour cream, chili and Fritos. Cost: $20 and 4,889 calories.

I’m gonna stick with chicken feet. A 60 calorie dare that’s still hard to swallow…mainly you just chew.

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