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June 24, 2005 04:04 PM

Broken: Tostitos "better tasting" promise

Ben Phillips writes:

Recently I was eating a bag of Tostitos chips and I realized that they said "Now Better Tasting!" Hmmm, I thought, they didn't seem to taste much better than the last time I ate chips. I have seen this used as advertisement many times. There are two fundamental reasons why this is broken:

1) It's arguing a vague point. It gives me no reason to believe that my Tostitos actually taste better now than they did before. Isn't all food supposed to taste good?

2) Taste is subjective. No matter what they did to change the food, people have different tastes and there's no guarantee that everyone would like the taste better.


I've always wondered when they make dog food "better tasting", how do they know?

Posted by: Eric at June 24, 2005 04:15 PM

It's one of these things like washing powder that also make you wonder what was wrong with the last version which 6 months ago they were telling you was twice as good as the version before that.

Posted by: fraser at June 24, 2005 04:51 PM

I agree- "Better tasting" is a subjective term.

Another phrase I dislike is when companies refer to themselves as "a leading company in e-commerce(or some other area of expertise)". Claiming to be "leading" is so arbitrary- rarely does anyone explain who they are leading...

Posted by: Julie at June 24, 2005 04:54 PM

This reminds me of the Totino's pizza rolls boxes I saw at my local Meijer's. The one on the left says "Awesome Taste" while the one on the right does not. I can only assume that they used to taste nasty or something.

Posted by: Aaron at June 24, 2005 04:56 PM

Aaron, I wonder if the Awesome taste is the before or after box design. Maybe they removed awesome taste because it's false advertising.

Posted by: Joshua Wood at June 24, 2005 05:01 PM

From what I can see, Aaron, all the boxes say "awesome taste". It's just more visible in some.

Posted by: MattZ at June 24, 2005 05:13 PM

Oh, come on. This isn't broken. It's just ad-men doing what they do best, namely lying. They tweak something, such as the kind of glue they use to seal the box, and it's 'better tasting'.

Tastes Awesome isn't even what you're saying is broken here, it's just the product advertising itself.

Posted by: Bob at June 24, 2005 05:46 PM

Oh come now, Bob. Not all advertisers are that bad ;)

But I do wonder how many boxes are sold on account of some silly campaign like that. I know that every time I'm walking past the pop-tarts (is that the one running the star wars ad?) all I think is "these are not the snacks you're looking for" or "no reward is worth this!"

rant what's really broken are all the foods that use high fructose corn syrup and partially hydrogenated oils and then have the audacity to proclaim themselves as health foods. /rant

I'm done.

Posted by: Rana at June 24, 2005 06:25 PM

This actually reminds me of this dog chow commercial, for chow with smaller bits, for smaller dogs.

They go on and on about how it's easier for them to eat, and stuff, and it makes me think...

If small dogs had such difficulity eating larger normal-sized peices, wouldn't there be a lot less of 'em, or something like this around sooner?

They had no problem before, they have no problem now, and it just seems like a marketing ploy to get peeps to buy a dog chow that's the SAME THING only cut smaller and hence ten times more expensive.

Posted by: Liz at June 24, 2005 07:45 PM

the reason they are "better tasting" is that doris (as saddam hussein calls them) got rid of the trans fat

Posted by: dont start the "this isnt broken" at June 24, 2005 08:44 PM

" what's really broken are all the foods that use high fructose corn syrup and partially hydrogenated oils and then have the audacity to proclaim themselves as health foods. "

Time for my own rant...

I couldn't agree more. And while the specific chips we are discussing are corn chips, this type of issue concerning use of high fructose corn syrup and hydrogenated oils really angers me in other food areas due to the fact that two of my close friends have a deathly allergy to corn, wheat, barley, etc. And some foods, such as fruit snacks, would normally be edible, and sodas and certian juice drinks, if not for the 'fake' food in them.

Health food my arse.

It ain't 'healthy' if it puts my friends in the hospital.

Posted by: Liz at June 24, 2005 09:10 PM

For a follow up, diet sodas are broken. They say, "Same great taste!" Well actually, no. It tastes terrible. I'm sorry. And diet sodas aren't even healthy for you. I'd rather have regular than diet.

Posted by: someone at June 24, 2005 09:53 PM

Reminds me of Dorito's, which have such flavors as "Cooler Ranch" and "Nacho Cheesier." Why are they MORE cool or MORE cheesy, and not simply cool or cheesy? They've been named this for years, so I presume it's not comparing them to an older "formula."

Posted by: Chris B at June 24, 2005 11:37 PM

Well I guess all the chips you ate in the past were worse tasting. I think they owe you refunds for all those chips.

Posted by: Robert at June 24, 2005 11:48 PM

>Aaron actually all the boxes has awesome tasting on them some near the bottom left corner in black. The other location at the bottom of a pizza roll on the right in red.

I agree with the other poster that stated this as false advertising.

Strange that no one has mentioned the ever popular "New and Improved!"

Posted by: kent at June 25, 2005 06:54 AM

Speaking of advertising, I was in the grocery store and saw a new product called Cheez-It Twisters where they combine two flavors and twist it up into one tasty snack. The broken part of this: the one I saw was "cheddar" twisted with "more cheddar". Mmmmm, cheddar combined with cheddar? That sounds good, but mostly stupid.

Posted by: TBB at June 25, 2005 08:28 AM

I think the 'new and improved' paradox might have already been discussed here...

If it's new, then it's never been here before, and hence, it's the first and could not have been improved upon.

If it's improved, then it's an elder item, with a newer, and hopefully better version, but it's by no means new.

It might not have been a main post, but I think it was in the discussion in comments a while back.

Posted by: Liz at June 25, 2005 09:52 AM

This is not broken from a marketing standpoint. Plenty of studies show that people are more likely to buy things that are new, improved, better, -ier, and so forth. The purpose is not to produce the best tasting product. The purpose is to produce the best selling product. Likewise with usability. People claim they want usability but does usability sell? Sometimes it does, like with the iPod, which also required marketing to succeed. Othertimes it doesn't - such as most enterprise solutions in business where it's about which salesman has a line on the best coke and hookers.

Posted by: J. Scott at June 25, 2005 11:55 AM

See, a real-life ad-man agrees with me.

Posted by: Bob at June 25, 2005 12:18 PM

First, BROKEN. Subjective, yes. But, at least you would taste them and compare. It isn't the same for pet foods. How many times have you seen an ad for a pet food that said "better tasting" or "Guaranteed fresh"? Two questions: One, better than what? Two, who tastes them to make sure?

Posted by: Randy at June 25, 2005 08:43 PM

"I've always wondered when they make dog food "better tasting", how do they know?"

They poll them. One bark means yes and two means no.

I'd like to see some truth in advertizing... "9 out of 10 people we're going to call 'Dentists' highly endorse our product after receiving gifts and/or cash"

Posted by: Captain Skeptical at June 26, 2005 05:19 PM

"One bark means yes and two means no"

Sparky, does this food taste better?


translates to:

"Yes, yes"

"Good dog"


And the doritos are Cooler and Cheesier than the original doritos

Posted by: Invalid Atribute Index Bob at June 26, 2005 06:07 PM

The "Better Tasting Promise" means that if you don't think that they taste better, you get your money back.

Posted by: Munchkinguy at June 26, 2005 10:38 PM

Anyway, that's usually how it goes, mind you, I think I misread the explaination, so the comment I just posted probably makes no sense.

Posted by: Munchkinguy at June 26, 2005 10:40 PM

"One bark means yes and two means no"

Still holding out for the mouse-flavored cat food.

Posted by: Sean at June 27, 2005 01:40 PM

It's marketing's way of saying "now w/ even more salt!!"

Posted by: Ehren at July 4, 2005 06:54 AM

This is very true. Doritos chips claim to be "now better tasting," and I find them to be much less appetizing than they were previously.

Posted by: camb05 at July 17, 2005 07:55 PM

No worse than Lunchables Pizzas with pepperoni. The past year or two it says "FULLY COOKED!" on the package.

It didn't before.

Posted by: Joe at July 30, 2005 12:43 AM

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