I am not afraid to try new snack foods

I have frequent opinions, and I love giving them. It’s even better when I am paid to do so.

See, I was walking through Faneuil Hall, and I saw that a crazy lady up ahead seemed to be stopping people. I was about to scuttle by and avoid her, but I was arrested by her line of questioning: “Do YOU eat yogurt?” Why yes, yes, I do.

“Do YOU want to make $15?” Once I ascertained that it would take about ten minutes and not involve photography or removal of clothing, I could honestly say “Why yes, yes I do. ” Self-interest really is the key to any sales pitch.

So I was ushered up into an office above the F.Y.E., and filled out a short demographic questionaire, on which I lied flagrantly. Then I was taken to a conference room. The table was covered in empty yogurt packages, all different brands. My interogator came in, bearing a tray of dixie cups and little baby plastic spoons. She made me identify the yogurt brands I currently purchase, those being Stonyfield Farm and Colombo. She seemed pleased. Then she hauled out some Stonyfield Farms cups with new packaging. The first one was a chocolate flavor, and it featured wavy grass with some chocolate chips in it, being surveyed by some omnipresent cow head.

I started laughing, because I am exceedingly juvenile. “You must know what that makes me think of,” I said. Oh Lawsy, what a design mis-step. I hemmed and hawed, mentioned that they had better add a dewy sheen to their fruit photography, and I want to see some fruit cross-sections, damn it, and that the ivory plastic looked more hippy-dippy recycled than the white plastic, which is what they are going for, right? Then I had to go through a tedious evaluation of competitor packaging. As a general aside, I will say that those Yoplait whips, custard yogurt infused with air, have got to be the nastiest thing every invented. Carbonated milk curd, mmm.

Finally, on to the taste-testing. And the first flavor was…banana-vanilla. I fucking hate any unnatural approximation of banana. I politely gummed around a spoonful, trying not to gag. “Well, it tastes like some ungodly bastard offspring of a tropical Starburst with an infection. I wouldn’t buy this in ten million years. What were you thinking?”

Next, blackberry. Hurrah, why not. It was pretty good. A little too sweet. I was given water and made great show of cleansing my palate. What fun. “Wait, wait, let me SWISH.” Then I tried some other stuff which was basically flavors they already have reformulated with that franken-fiber, inulin. Whatever. “Will this make me poop a lot?” Enquiring minds want to know!

Finally, “So when do YOU eat yogurt?” Ummm….when I’m crash-dieting? I mean “as a healthy snack to supplement meals.”

Soon I was being hustled out the door, $15 in cash in my sticky paw. I also got a whole bunch of coupons. Whee.

After I spotted this link on Rebecca’s site, I realized I had been a part of the ground-breaking “Trends in Yogurt Consumption” study. How monumental! If I could only secure employ doing a survey every hour. That’s $15 an hour, plus I would never have to buy food again. Sure, the sour cream survey could get a little hairy. Don’t get me started on the prospect of the hot dog survey. But I would be doing good in the world, as banana-vanilla has so far stayed off shelves, clearly all thanks to my vehement protest.


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