When you walk through a grocery store, I don’t believe that people see what exactly it is they are looking at. They purchase things like frozen pizza, two-liter bottles of soda, or even fruit. However, it wasn’t until I took a closer look that I realized that often, myself included, customers see what the processors want them to see, rather than the product itself. When I started to think outside of the box and saw the products as something other than just something to eat, it occurred to me that the way in which processors package their foods is like art. Suddenly, instead of walking up and down the aisles of County Market, I was browsing the artistic masterpieces of an art gallery.
Compared to art, food advertisements only differ in the fact that they are trying to sell themselves. Art is about expression and beauty— whereas the purpose of packaging is merely to make sure a product attracts consumers. And as if it weren’t obvious enough, food corporations will do whatever it takes to make sure that happens.
So, join me on my tour de County Market Art Museum and see some of today’s most famous pieces.
First up, we have a piece known as Healthy Hogwash by an American artist that goes by the alias Special K:
Healthy Hogwash is known for its low-calorie snack bites. This is just one example of their work and it is full of caramel and chocolate. As I walk by, of course that sounds like an excellent idea! I get all the unhealthy foods that I want, but it says on the box that there are only seventy calories. Right? Wrong. This Special K product isn’t named Healthy Hogwash for no reason.
Another modern piece we feature at County Market is known as Food Your Grandmother Wouldn’t Recognize:
As you can see is clearly stated on this artwork’s packaging, these chicken rings are truly a family favorite. Ironically, the grandmothers in my family would be appalled that such a thing even exists. The fact is, majority of these women were raised in the days of freshly battered chicken wings on a Sunday afternoon, so unidentifiable chicken parts will more than likely not be served on their menus anytime soon.
Moving on to our next display that has been famously recognized as Food Vs. Food Product by an artist that goes by the name All Natural:
There have been several artists in the most recent decades disguised as the alias All Natural, of course most have been discovered, as their true identities are oftentimes quite obvious. However, this piece is one of my favorites because of its uniqueness in variety. Not only is it featured in Apricot, but nearly any berry or fruit you can imagine. Unfortunately, much like many before his time, All Natural didn’t consider that most natural fruits don’t come paper-thin in a plastic bag. On to the next.
The artist of what I usually refer to as Guilty Pleasure is a psychological genius when it comes to reading the minds of what the consumers of his art want:
This masterpiece of chicken in the shape of dinosaurs was precisely what the 21st century needed to plummet into the world of food processing technology. People say McDonald’s doesn’t produce what most would refer to as grade A meat to their customers, but neither does the frozen section of County Market. Don’t get me wrong, I’m the typical consumer that understands the risk I’m taking, but decides the flavor is definitely worth it.
It is obvious that the majority of the artists featured in County Market don’t exactly relate their foods back to their source, which is what brings us to our next piece Most Removed From the Farmer:
An entire piece of pizza in every single bite, what more could consumers ask for?! For starters, they could ask for real ingredients. Of course majority of people love what Totino’s is doing with his most recent art displays that he calls Pizza Rolls, but I suspect it isn’t for health reasons.
There are of course a variety of different products lining the walls of this gallery that have been referred to as Chemical Soup but today’s is one for the books:
Many artists have tried to perfect this piece, such as the famous Ramen or Campbell’s, but Bowl Noodle does it best. Not only does this specialist feature an array of different flavors but their unique product also comes in a package that doubles as a microwavable bowl. I honestly don’t think there is much more a college student could ask for.
One of our newest and hottest artists called Naked just finished working on their latest piece called Sexy Packaging:
As a huge fan, there can’t be many negative comments made by this writer about Naked’s most recent products. I have no proof of the all natural claims they make, I do, however, support the flavor and diversity they deliver to their consumers.
Although its not a moment of pride for many, this artist takes the cake for their product Hangover Cure:
Although it may seem like a strange piece to be featured in this gallery, as mozzarella sticks number one fan I had to make sure their work would be represented well. They may not be healthy, but after a rough night of poor decisions, I promise you my friends greasy cheese will never disappoint you.
One of our most new and promising artists making their way into the art world has named his most famous collection Ironic Food:
At first, I didn’t understand the name of the product, why ironic? It wasn’t until I realized that the true irony was within the confines of this artwork. To the untamed eye, this looks like spray cheese; however, to those who know better, not a single particle of this specimen is actually a food product at all. Today’s artists are hysterical.
Our final display at County Market is called Going Organic, Going Broke it was submitted into our gallery by an anonymous artist; however, we have determined that they are far from local:
The price on masterpieces like this, always go to the highest bidder. They say you get what you pay for, and I may not be an art expert, but the same goes for the majority of the public fighting the organic fight. My lack of knowledge within the art industry can probably be compared to that of the general public concerning the agricultural industry. The difference: At least I admit when I’m unsure of my facts.
The moral of the story for consumers when shopping: just because a brand promises one thing on a box, doesn’t mean it holds true once it goes inside your body. Processors and companies are just trying to get their products off of the shelves and into the carts, unlike artists they don’t want their viewers to understand the meaning behind the things they create.