Does anyone actually believe there’s such a thing as “gourmet” frozen pizza? Would any self-respecting gourmet serve previously frozen flatbreads?

Do they really expect us to believe that those jewelry assemblers are genuine “artisans”? What does that mean, anyway?

Too often, we’re faced with overused, unfounded and sometimes unwittingly comical descriptors in advertising and on packaging.

From “rustic” cheeses and “hand-crafted” potato chips to “classic” microwave popcorn and dog food “inspired by the greatest kitchens,” consumers are being asked to swallow more and more outlandish labels than ever before.

Gourmet Bacon Curls? Old-Time Bacon Puffs? Really? They’re pork rinds!

pizza-box-insetMost of us have seen a pizza delivery box that reads, “You’ve tried all the rest, now try the best!” Seriously? There can only be one “best” pizza and, from what I’m told, it’s in Naples, Italy. So, unless you’re importing tomato pies from the Old World, try saying something else, like why you think your pizza is better.

If you don’t fall for labels like these, why would you expect anyone else to?

Don’t claim to be what you’re not. Embrace what you are, what makes you great and why that should be important to your audience.

From there, the claims come naturally.

A brief trip to the local grocery store yielded these less-than-convincing examples:

Kraft Old English
Sharp Pasteurized Process Cheese Spread

Nothing beats that Old World pasteurized process cheese spreadiness!

Home-style Kibbles ‘n Bits Dog Food
With “Wholesome Home-cooked Taste.”

I’ll take your word for it, because, either someone is a lousy cook, or my dog’s eating too well.

Progresso Artisan Soup
“Being an artisan means you’re passionate about what you create.”

And nothing expresses that more eloquently than pouring it from a foil-lined carton.

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