Here’s how you know capitalism has failed: when they start creating products for which there is no demand, then spend tons of money on advertising and marketing campaigns in the hopes of creating a demand. I call it the New Coke Syndrome. Nobody had a problem with old Coke but nooooo, some MBA type decided they needed to switch things around because market share and synergy and value-added-thinking-outside-the-box and blahbeddy blah. Voila! You have a product nobody wants.
I’m not sure when this phenomenon started -- probably when people decided getting an MBA was more worthwhile than being a doctor or teacher -- but we’ve been stuck with it for a few decades now and frankly I’m pretty damn sick of it.
So here we have today’s latest entry in the “shit-I-don’t-want” sweepstakes: ladies and gentlemen (but really, let’s be honest here, the stupid shit is always marketed to ladies), I bring you the Land o’Lakes Sauté Express® Sauté Starter!
This product launched in October, but I saw my first ad for it this morning. Let’s read the product launch press release, shall we:
Land O’Lakes is helping moms solve the 4 p.m. daily dinner dilemma with Sauté ExpressTM Sauté Starter, a new, all-in-one, seasoned butter and olive oil sauté starter that cooks and flavors chicken, fish or pork in one easy step. Found in the dairy aisle, each of the six 1-ounce squares in a package of Sauté ExpressTM Sauté Starter combines the fresh flavors of butter, olive oil, herbs and spices. By simply tossing the pre-measured, butter-based square into a heated, non-stick sauté pan, moms can cook a wholesome, flavorful and sizzling meal in 30 minutes or less – no prep time required.
By the way, why do we need to use a non-stick pan if we're putting butter in it? But I digress. From their website:
How do I use Sauté Express® Sauté Starter?
Simply melt one Sauté Express® square in a non-stick pan over medium-low heat. Add any protein, such as chicken, fish or pork. Sauté until meat is thoroughly cooked.
Oh. So in other words, it's butter. With some spice and other stuff mixed in. Stuff I probably already have in my spice rack next to the stove.
Umm ... 'scuse me, Mr. MBA CEO Guy, but was there something wrong with the stick of Land O'Lakes butter in my fridge?
You know, it’s not that hard to take a pat of butter, pull some dried Italian seasoning out of the spice rack and sprinkle it in there, maybe crush a clove of garlic and let it all melt. I mean, that takes all of, I dunno, two seconds perhaps? Add some olive oil to that and it takes all of 2.2 seconds. This is the daily dinner dilemma for moms? That I don’t have 2 seconds to melt some fucking butter and throw a pinch of oregano in there too?
Are you people fucking kidding me?
This shit makes me nuts. I realize it's not up there with, say, not reauthorizing the Violence Against Women Act, but the failure of our capitalist overlords to fully understand us ordinary peons and instead look for new ways to give us diabetes and hypertension really cuts my salmon. This is not a better mousetrap. This is some other thing that they’re trying to con you into thinking is a mousetrap. It's a mousetrap-like device. And by the way, do you need a mousetrap? Yes! But you have a cat? No, you really, really, really need a mousetrap! C’mon, you know you do! Ditch the cat, and BUY THE FUCKING MOUSETRAP!
Let's be real here. This product only exists to justify some agribusiness major’s corporate gig. This would be the person who spends waaaay too much fucking time reading Advertising Age. From their press release:
“Cooking with Sauté ExpressTM Sauté Starter is a multisensory experience – from the bubbling and sizzling sights and sounds in the pan and the irresistible aroma of the herbs, spices and butter, to the light, savory flavor and texture of your finished meal,” said Becky Wahlund, test kitchen director at Land O’Lakes. “The entire family will be eager to sit down for dinner – and likely will ask for seconds – making Sauté Express™ Sauté Starter a win-win solution for moms.”
You know what else does that? Butter.
Also, apparently this product is just for moms. If you’re a dad, or a single person, this product is not for you. Continue melting butter and adding your own spices as you’ve always done. Or fuckit, pop a Lean Cuisine in the microwave, we don’t give a shit.
Let me add, if you take some butter and spices and maybe crush a piece of garlic or squirt a lemon wedge in there, you will have something that is infinitely better than this product, because I looked at the ingredients and the Sauté Express® Sauté Starter is loaded with sodium, saturated fat, corn starch and other crap that you don’t need or want. The Garlic & Herb flavor has over 25 ingredients, including yeast extract, salt, sugar, sesame oil, canola oil and citric acid. It also has 280 mg of sodium, 80 calories, and 7 g of fat. That's per serving.
Even the simplest flavor, Savory Butter & Olive Oil, contains corn starch, sugar, soy lecithin, citric acid, and a whopping 270 mg of sodium and 7 grams of fat. Again, that's per serving.
This is what I hate about Big Food. You guys, I'm not eating this crap. No one should eat this crap. It's not even necessary to eat this crap! This product does not make anyone's life easier, not the "busy mom" or anyone else's. You people already sell butter. You want to help moms solve the 4 pm daily dinner dilemma? Try figuring out a way to get your damn butter into my fridge without it costing me $4 a pound. We can handle the rest, really we can.