Companies And The People Who Market Them Have Decided We Might Be Too Stupid For Microwave Popcorn

Honest, they have. If they haven’t, tell me how you’d spin this right here.

“Microwave popcorn at its inception was all about convenience, having only to wait three minutes to get warm, delicious popcorn,” said Colleen Bailey, Orville’s brand director. But “as times have changed, the definition of convenience has changed.”
“You don’t have to take the extra step of opening the box, opening the wrapper,” and “hoping you have the skill to watch it appropriately so you don’t ruin the product,” said Beth Bloom, a food and drinks analyst with market researcher Mintel.

Skill, you say? I wasn’t aware that successfully tearing something open, hitting a few buttons and then standing around for a couple of minutes while the magical microwave gnomes do whatever it is they do in there qualified as the mastery of a skill for anyone past the age of maybe twelve.

And then there’s this, which almost defies description. Were I to advertise it, I might say that it’s a pleasant blend of great tasting marketing douchespeak and the fresh baked stupidity families have enjoyed for generations.

“We’re still really bullish on microwave,” said Craig Tokusato, a Diamond senior-VP who oversees Pop Secret, which relies on movie-themed marketing. He cited a “singular focus” on the segment as the reason for the gains. That includes a quest for the perfectly popped bag: A Pop Secret smartphone app hitting the market soon will listen to popping and use algorithms to tell consumers exactly when to take it out of the microwave.

“We’re still really bullish on microwave.” In offices around the world, there are people getting paid to spout things like that on a daily basis as if they’re normal sounding.

And the consumer is too stupid for a microwave, yet he can somehow manage to download and operate an app? Sure. Why not? Pop Psychology: Ready-Made Popcorn Gains On Microwave Brands
Harried Consumers Would Rather Buy the Finished Product Than Zap a Bag

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5 comments
  1. Wow. That’s just dumb. On so many levels. And how is the app going to guarantee getting it right? I’m sure if it tried to listen for the right number of pops when we made that small bag of popcorn the other day, it would have still gotten it wrong. And yeah, some microwaves even have a popcorn button. Gees. How much simpler can it get?

    1. I wonder the same thing. How would it account for noise that might be drowning out the popping? Like maybe a radio or a small child playing with pretty much anything. And what happens if one of us idiots uses the Pop Secret app on somebody else’s popcorn and it doesn’t work? Should they have to put a disclaimer on it in the hopes that we won’t sue them?

  2. Most of the popcorn brands warn you not to use the “popcorn” button on your microwave. When I change microwaves, I usually have to mess up the first bag to get the cooking time (no matter what the bag tells me). Not only do microwaves vary madly, so does the incoming power from one day to the next. It isn’t us that’s stupid, it’s the microwave. Still easier than standing over the stove though.

    1. I don’t use popcorn buttons very often either. Usually results in nearly setting off the smoke alarms or having 27 properly popped pieces out of hundreds. And I’m totally with you on the differences in microwaves. the one at my mom’s house will sometimes do in less than a minute what ours takes nearly 2 to do. And every now and then even when you’re used to a microwave, you’re ruining a bag anyway. Nothing is perfect.

  3. This microwave is a little slower than my last one (it was a gift when my old one blew up so I don’t know the power) but it’s still faster than the small, cheap ones.

    It isn’t just popcorn- I can’t trust directions on anything microwavable but I’ve learned over the years to trust my own judgment.

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