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meaningless slogans

There is a post about 'Farm Fresh' eggs currently and it got me to thinking that there are slogans put out by advertizing agencies for products that are meaningless. What is farm fresh? When was it fresh?

I thought of 'Doorstep Fresh' which you see on English milk bottles (milk still delivered there).

Also in the UK many cafes proudly announce 'freshly cut sandwiches'. The sandwich was just cut but it was made days ago?

Maybe it's the word fresh. Makes us think the product is better than it is.

Any others?

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  1. Cholesterol Free (in some juices packages lol)

    My dad when came to US asked me about the Free Range Chickens... he asked me if that meant that they played around and were happier than the other ones? that how the same brand (like 365 Whole Foods) could sell Organic Free Range, Free Range, and just Regular Eggs version... he asked me if they (the company) divided the Hens by ranks? and some chickens would be in a little room all crowded looking at the Happy running around Chickens, and then the top Rank would Run, have a pool, and Eat better food to become Organic... I know it seems like a joke, but the slogan in here I just couldn't explain to Dad...

    Perhaps I should read more about eggs, but I don't want to, I can't afford organic =(

    5 Replies
    1. re: helenahimm

      My understanding is that "free range" doesn't mean anything other than at some point during the day, the chickens are let out of their cages. There is no actual minimum time requirement that they be let outside, nor is access to pasture required (it could be gravel or sand). So yes,. "free range" is definitely one of those BS advertising labels (like "natural") that means very little.

      Mr Taster

      1. re: Mr Taster

        Free range chickens aren't "let out of their cages"; they aren't raised in cages. That's not to say they live an idyllic lifes - Generally speaking, they live in huge flocks that stay in barns. You're correct that they don't necessarily get much access to the outside or any access to grass (or even gravel or sand - a concrete slab will do).

        But they do have more room to move, they have an opportunity to be social birds (which, if you've ever raised chickens, can actually seem like a bad thing), and they're generally better treated than battery-farmed chickens.

        1. re: alanbarnes

          Hm, from the USDA's own website, the definition of FREE RANGE or FREE ROAMING:

          "Producers must demonstrate to the Agency that the poultry has been allowed access to the outside."

          That's it. Which is to say, 23.5 hours in a cage and 0.5 hours in a cement lot fits these criteria.


          That's not to say that certain growers might use the term "free range" in the way that a socially conscientious adult would expect it to be used. The real issue is that the legally enforcible definition is so broad as to be meaningless, hence my inclusion of it in this thread.

          Mr Taster

          1. re: Mr Taster

            Understood. But from a practical perspective, the whole point of battery farming is that the chickens never leave their cages. Think about it - how economical would it be to hire employees to chase down and catch 20,000 chickens and stuff them back into cages on a daily basis?

            The fact is that free-range chickens are raised in barns, not in individual cages. You can decide whether you think that's a good thing or a bad thing. But it is what it is.

        2. re: Mr Taster

          then i should be even more confused than ever by a local supermarket labeling all the items in the bulk bins "free range." i take an odd sense of pride in having bought "free range" almonds and "free range" peanut butter pretzels for my family. knowing i have brought home snacks that had time to frolic makes me happy. <humor alert>

          the labeling is featured in the whole section. i haven't asked because i'm sure the answer would make my brain hurt.

      2. "New and Improved" really means "Worse and More Expensive" Remember when toothpaste really was a paste? Today you can pour it out of the plastic tube.

        1 Reply
        1. re: huckfinn

          "New and Improved" is one of my favorites. WTF! How can it be both "new" and "improved"?

          I would like to see truth in advertising: "The Same Old Crap in a Brand New Box."

        2. Homemade (as opposed to "made on the premises") when something is not made at home.

          Any word or phrase that could possibly give one a demi-sacral association of the food in question, eg in the memorable allusion of another Chowhound, of 12 virgins picking or making X under a full moon in Alice Water's garden or kitchen.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Karl S

            From George Carlin:

            "When the advertising imbeciles realized that 'homemade' sounded too full of shit, so they switch to 'home-style.' They'll say something has 'home-style flavor.' Well, whose home are we talking about? Jeffrey Dahmer's?"


            Mr Taster

          2. Heh. "Chef-Inspired" in Quizno's ads always makes me laugh. Brings to mind the image of a portly man in chef's whites and a comical hat, with a lightbulb appearing over his head. "Sacre bleu! What if I put STEAK and CHEESE on BREAD? Quel surprise!"

            "Made with the goodness of whole grains." Yeah, I guess even the whitest of bleached white flour was a whole grain at some point in its existence.

            Any yogurt lately that makes active bacterial cultures a focal point of its advertising campaign. I guarantee that the vast majority of people that end up buying this have no idea what B.L. regularis, acidophilus, or "active bacterial culture" even MEAN.

            Oh yeah, and using "trans fat free" as a selling point on stuff like frozen vegetables. Sigh.

            1. Better ingredients. Better pizza. Papa Johns. Yeah right!

              1 Reply
              1. re: grampart

                Notice the Papa John's goof doesn't say his pizza is better or holds more or superior ingredients. Simple to say words, 'great', 'the best' and then add your name in a seperate sentence. Keeps the judge, jury and Lionel Hutz away.

              2. Smartie: every time I see 'fresh cut sandwiches' on UK cafe windows I laugh...or 'freshly made'...what a load of nonsensical marketing! My fiancé buys crisps which state that they are 'made from real ingredients'! I often wonder which are the ones made from 'unreal' ones as I'd definetely love to taste them!

                1. I would imagine if you are any of the following practitioners.....vegan, vegetarian or pescetarian,,,,,,,,,

                  * Beef, it's what's for dinner *

                  1. Do you recall the American milk board campaigns urging us to look for the little "real" logo on our milk cartons? Because there is so much fake milk posing as real in our supermarkets.

                    Agree with Karl S re "homemade" at restaurants. Who lives in that restaurant?

                    1. i find "authentic"to be overused and useless,in fact im so sick of even hearing that word now.every one has there own opinion on the meaning that it renders it meaningless.

                      1. Winn Dixie sells 'Vegetarian Eggs'! What?? when did eggs become vegetarians?

                        8 Replies
                        1. re: smartie

                          I would think that means the hens are fed a vegetarian diet.

                          1. re: k.strang

                            If you've ever eaten eggs laid (layed?) by chickens which were fed on fishmeal you'd choose the veggie option every time!

                            1. re: k.strang

                              I know that but the egg still can't be a vegetarian.

                              1. re: smartie

                                Can't we all stop arguing and be more egalitarian?

                                1. re: Paulustrious

                                  are the eggs that 'eat' fish meal known as pescatarians?

                                  1. re: smartie

                                    No, but the chickens are pescatari-hens.

                          2. Not a product slogan per se, but I always get a laugh out of dumpy stripmall restaurants in the middle of nowhere with a sign that says "World Famous!" as if everybody in Bangalore had heard of this place.

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: monkeyrotica

                              When i moved from Louisiana to Texas, i saw a couple of restaurants over here claiming to be "world famous!" I lived a state over and never heard of you, how are you "world famous," lol?

                              1. re: iluvtennis

                                Especially when they put up a sign saying "famous" the very day they open, before anyone's even tried the place!

                            2. Meaningless phrases? So many of them. Lets' pick a few.

                              The leading supplier, manufacturer etc of whatever in wherever. If there ego is sufficiently larger they will use 'best'.

                              "Maximum strength" actually means the government has said any stronger than this then you need a prescription. Or you take two.

                              "Original" means the one we decided to stop doing for a while.

                              "Perfect blend". This is usually replaced by the aforementioned "new and improved".

                              "Highest Quality". In fact if you take any of the synonyms for 'best' you hear them regularly ... optimal, finest, unrivalled, pre-eminent, foremost etc.

                              Heinz do a Home Style Gravy. One wonders whose home?

                              Seen locally: Don't just believe us, come on in and try for yourself.

                              There are a few I would like to see which are truthful and informative...

                              Had fewer product recalls than any business of our size.
                              May contain insect parts

                              3 Replies
                              1. re: Paulustrious

                                I'm so tired of "Maximum Strength." I want "Lethal Strength" or at least "Toxic Strength."

                                1. re: monkeyrotica

                                  The late/great consciousness guru Terrence Mckenna coined ( I believe) the term 'heroic dosage', in reference to threshold-crossing amounts of psychedelics ingested in one sitting. I'd say the same term could be applied to hot/spicy foodstuffs...

                                2. re: Paulustrious

                                  <<Heinz do a Home Style Gravy. One wonders whose home?>>
                                  A rest home? Convalescent home? Certainly not any of our homes!

                                3. How about these two.......

                                  Owned or Made by REAL ITALIANS......what's a fake Italian?

                                  SUPER-FRESH......you can't get any fresher than fresh.

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: fourunder

                                    I am probably one of those "fake Italians" as I'm only 1/4, but I claim it proudly and am a real Italian in my heart. ;)

                                  2. Vine Ripened and the tomatoes are hard as rocks.

                                    1. In the summer, I always see the roadside strawberry stands that say "picked daily!" Of course that doesn't mean your berries were picked that morning, but somewhere, some berries were picked.

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: Azizeh

                                        You reminded me of Steven Wright, as he enters a restaurant and is told it is closing.
                                        "Your sign says 'open 24 hours'"
                                        "Not in a row"

                                      2. Premium






                                        5 Replies
                                        1. re: ipsedixit

                                          "Organic", "Light" and "Diet" are actually defined by US law, and as such are not in the same category as empty modifiers such as "natural" and "home style" that can be applied at will without accountability or repercussions.

                                          Mr Taster

                                          1. re: Mr Taster

                                            I know there are organizations (private and public) that provide certain things as "organic" but there's an actual law that defines "light" and "diet"? Can you point me to them? I'd be be curious as to what they say. Thanks.

                                            The only definition of "light" that I am aware of requires the manufacturer to make a comparative reference to the non-light, or regular, version of the food. But this is what makes the term "light" so meaningless. If a manufacturer wants to make a food "light" it simply has to increase the calorie (or sodium or whatever) value of the original product. So, if I want to make a light version of yogurt (e.g. 50% less calories) than I can simply increase the regular version yogurt's calorie content.

                                            1. re: ipsedixit

                                              OK you're forcing me to choose my language more precisely. I meant "regulation" rather than "law". The USDA Organic label was the result of a hard fought battle between lots of competing interests (not the least of which is the USDA itself, which has the dubious distinction of being an organization which is meant to protect consumers at the same time it lobbies for US food interests). Marion Nestle's book "What To Eat" is worth a read on this topic. Similar regulations (not laws) govern labeling of "light" and "diet" products. However, let's not get lost in semantics... I was really addressing the main point of this thread which is "meaningless" words.... because terms like "light" and "organic" have been defined by officiating organizations, they do have a meaning-- unlike the worthless labeling on that packet of "gourmet jelly beans" (which technically would mean a jelly bean that has the ability to enjoy refined food and drink). That's one extraordinary jelly bean.



                                              Mr Taster

                                                1. re: ipsedixit

                                                  Assuming you're an attorney, I should have known better than to choose my words imprecisely :)

                                                  Mr Taster

                                        2. Pretty much all of 'em, when you get right down to it....

                                          1. "Made by hand" - very few people use their feet to cook.

                                            "Natural" - as opposed to ... ?

                                            5 Replies
                                            1. re: alanbarnes

                                              With respect to "natural" I believe the USDA actually defines the term (as silly as that might seem).

                                              Natural: Food labeled "natural," according to the USDA definition, does not contain artificial ingredients or preservatives and the ingredients are only minimally processed. However, they may contain antibiotics, growth hormones, and other similar chemicals.

                                              All Natural: The USDA does not define foods labeled "all natural" as any differnet than those labeled "natural." Foods with this labeling are probably not any different than "natural" foods and may not be regulated as they are not defined by the USDA.

                                              1. re: ipsedixit

                                                Sloppy on my part. I was specifically thinking of supermarket chicken labeled as "all natural." The USDA regulation is so broad that AFAIK no commercially-available plain uncooked chicken fails to meet the standard.

                                              2. re: alanbarnes

                                                Oh....hand-made...yes! There is a billboard down the street that claims hand-made, delicious food. I always laugh when i pass it...thanks for clarifying that you aren't using other body parts such as your feet to prepare you food.

                                                1. re: alanbarnes

                                                  "Natural" - as opposed to......"Silicone enhanced"? :)

                                                  1. re: alanbarnes


                                                    You should watch a few episodes of "Unwrapped" on Food Network. I was actually astounded by the number of products that were made from crops mechanically harvested, mechanically washed, peeled, sorted, etc., mechanically cut, crushed, or chopped, mechanically mixed, forced, or formed, mechanically cooked, boiled, or baked, and mechanically wrapped, bottled, or boxed. At no point in the process did the "food product" actually touch human hands. I like Tootsie Rolls, which involve zero human contact. I also like chocolate truffles, which may or may not be "made by hand".

                                                  2. "First Quality" Butter. What is second quality?

                                                    "Selected Varieties" It's on almost every item on a supermarket flyer. Is it supposed to make me feel better like it was selected just for me?

                                                    "Farm Fresh" define? Same thing with "country style", where I live they are busting up methamphetamine cook houses out in the boondocks all the time.Would that make it "country style" meth?

                                                    "Authentic Receipe" Don't that open up a can of worms?

                                                    2 Replies
                                                    1. re: mrbigshotno.1


                                                      Actually, the USDA has three grades of butter, and you would not like the third grade 'B' butter......................................

                                                      1. re: mrbigshotno.1

                                                        "Selected varieties" means, for example, if there's a sale on Campbell's Soup, it probably only applies to vegetarian Vegetable, Chicken Noodle, Cream of Mushroom, and Chicken with Rice. It does not apply to varieties such as Beef Barley, Cream of Broccoli, Scotch Broth, Vegetable Beef, etc.

                                                        Same thing with, say, canned tuna. "Selected varieties" means you might get chunk or flaked light, and even chunk white, on sale, but not solid white.

                                                        Selected varieties is NOT a meaningless term.

                                                      2. "Extra Virgin" has always puzzled me.

                                                        3 Replies
                                                        1. re: Paulustrious

                                                          Maybe it's made with really ugly olives.

                                                          1. "Just like Grandma used to make." If it was my great grandmother they're talking about, I think I'll pass.

                                                            "Smells as Fresh as All Outdoors." There are plenty of places "outdoors" that have a less than pleasing aroma.

                                                            2 Replies
                                                            1. re: al b. darned

                                                              When I was in high school, there was a commercial that proclaimed the feeling of freshness to be (I'm paraphrasing, it's been a long time) "like a country road after the rain..." and my friend and I would always say, "Wouldn't that smell like mud???"

                                                              1. re: al b. darned

                                                                Back in the late 80s and early 90s I was a partner in a catering and prepared foods venture.

                                                                Our slogan.....'We cook like you wish momma did"

                                                                Mosr home cooking is not very good, only the memories of familiar and comforting are good.

                                                              2. OK not food related at all but this entire thread reminded me of this shop I passed once out in the country with the following VERY large sign: "Antique Tables Made Daily"

                                                                In other words, sometimes a term itself may have meaning, but is not necessarily applied as intended or doesn't always mean what you think it means. I think this applies to terms like "natural" where it just means there are "natural" chemicals and additivies.

                                                                4 Replies
                                                                  1. re: Paulustrious

                                                                    that one always gets me. pretty much the non-stuff in a vacuumed bell jar. so many uses, but too expensive for everyday use.

                                                                    1. re: appycamper

                                                                      yah - not a food but i remeber advertisments for an herbal medicine once - no drugs or chemicals.

                                                                      it is one and made of the other.

                                                                  2. re: cookie44

                                                                    ah yest like the famous "antiques made to order" sign or my favorite typo "all items made with unique and tradtional graftmanship"

                                                                  3. Hand crafted. A guarantee the item is going to be out of my price range.

                                                                    I saw a funny ad in Flavor magazine (local, sustainable, etc.) picked up in a coffee house: Selling alpaca compost, with the assurance that the product is "carefully crafted and aged 1-2 years." All natural too!! I have nothing against alpaca poo but ..... carefully crafted?

                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                    1. re: tcamp

                                                                      The best sign I ever saw was in front of a small cafe with a flashing light. All it said was



                                                                      I kid you not.

                                                                    2. There was a place - in Austin, TX, maybe? - with a huge sign outside that said "If it's in stock, we've got it!"

                                                                      7 Replies
                                                                        1. re: alanbarnes

                                                                          Oh, perhaps "If you want it, we might have it!" as a sister sign....

                                                                          1. re: alanbarnes

                                                                            Sounds like Ralph's Pretty Good Grocery in Lake Wobegon: "If you can't find it at Ralph's, you can probably get along pretty well without it."

                                                                            1. re: brandywiner

                                                                              You opened the gates of Wobegon, and allow me to attempt a finish:

                                                                              The Catchup Advisory Board informs us that ketchup (catsup) has natural mellowing agents.

                                                                              Mournful Oatmeal is Calvinism in a box.

                                                                              Be-Bop-A-Re-Bop Rhubarb Pie - One little thing can revive a guy, and that is a piece of rhubarb pie.

                                                                              And finally Powdermilk Biscuits: Made from whole wheat raised in the rich bottomlands of the Lake Wobegon river valley by Norwegian bachelor farmers; so you know they're not only good for you, but also pure ... mostly, which "give shy people the strength to get up and do what needs to be done". Heavens they're tasty and expeditious...

                                                                            2. re: alanbarnes

                                                                              Theres a guy at my local ACE hardware that likes to say "Well, at least we didn't have it!"

                                                                              1. re: mrbigshotno.1

                                                                                or the place I knew that use to say "you want it, we had it!"

                                                                                1. re: jumpingmonk

                                                                                  'But they're cheaper down the street at X'

                                                                                  "So, go but it at X'

                                                                                  'They don't have any"

                                                                                  'If we didn't have any, we quote you a price cheaper than X'

                                                                                  27 years of retail were too many

                                                                            3. I love the slogans like 30% less sugar or 20% less fat. Than what? The previous product or the competitor's product.

                                                                              Or even the products that say 100% of your daily Vitamin C intake - surely that would depend on how much you eat or drink of it? You have to get to the back of the packaging to see you need to drink 8fl oz of it to get your 100%.

                                                                              Then there is the proud slogan 0% trans fat on things like prune juice or cranberry juice which wouldn't have had trans fat in the first place.

                                                                              14 Replies
                                                                              1. re: smartie

                                                                                One thing I used to see a lot (and still do from time to time) that always made me laugh. If you have acess to somehwere that sells British Candy and you pick up a Fry's Turkish Delight Bar, you see up in the corner a blurb that says "92% Fat Free". I just find it refreshing that someone didn't go with a number that was a multiple of 5 or 10 (seriosly do you honesty think that 90% is actually exactly 90%). It's proalby even lower in fat when I eat it, since I usally end up losing most of the chocolate coating.

                                                                                1. re: jumpingmonk

                                                                                  One must admit that "92% fat free" has better curb appeal than "8% fat"

                                                                                  1. re: jumpingmonk

                                                                                    I am British so I sure know what Fry's Turkish Delight is - I can still sing the jingle and remember the 60s ads for it - girl in genie type costume.

                                                                                    1. re: smartie

                                                                                      So that's where the screen name comes from!

                                                                                      1. re: buttertart

                                                                                        kinda! it's one of my dog's names.

                                                                                        1. re: smartie

                                                                                          I put myself around quite a few Rowntree's Smarties when I was growing up in Canada. Great dog name too.

                                                                                        2. re: buttertart

                                                                                          It's odd how so many confectionery companies were founded by Quakers / philanthropists. This includes Cadbury, Fry, Rowntree and Hershey.

                                                                                          1. re: Paulustrious

                                                                                            The Cadbury story is particularly interesting, with their employee housing and so forth. (I suppose if you can't/don't drink for religious reasons, chocolate is the next best thing.)

                                                                                            1. re: buttertart

                                                                                              A trip to Bourneville is interesting. Cadbury used to be a customer of mine. They had a discount 'misshapes' shop, maybe still do.

                                                                                              1. re: Paulustrious

                                                                                                I bet. Really want to spend more time in England and explore past London. (Sings Pulp song Mis-shapes to herself, smiles contemplating Cadbury misshapes.)

                                                                                        3. re: smartie

                                                                                          As far as I', concerned Fry's Turkish beat's not only the standard Cadbuy's version (the one that looks like an actual run of the mill chocolate bar) but most of the legit from Turkey versions of locum (at least the ones that are generally exported and availbe at middle eastern shops. At least I can eat Fry's without getting my whole front covered with powdered sugar (Plus I've seen the arsenic incident in the Lord Peter Wimsey story so I'm always a bit nervous about all that white powder.)

                                                                                          1. re: jumpingmonk

                                                                                            now you make me want one and it has been years. The jelly has a kind of rose flavour.

                                                                                              1. re: Peg

                                                                                                oh yes that was it. Another great meaningless slogan.

                                                                                    2. "Made from Scratch”, as one fast food chain used to brag about their biscuits. Until food cloning has been perfected, all edibles are made from scratch at one point or another, even if it was in a giant factory in Trenton NJ six months ago and delivered frozen to Modesto CA yesterday.

                                                                                      "Low Carb and Fat Free," most dramatically meaningless when applied to the bottled water I saw at Costco a few years ago. Of course you're low carb and fat free -- you're WATER, for heaven's sake.

                                                                                      "Organic Tobacco" cigarettes, as spotted at a liquor store over the weekend. If you're a smoker, pesticide-treated tobacco leaves are the very least of your worries.

                                                                                      3 Replies
                                                                                      1. re: mandycat

                                                                                        Don't knock Trenton......it's the birthplace of Taylor Ham.

                                                                                          1. re: huckfinn

                                                                                            I think the only thing made in Trenton now is vinyl flooring.

                                                                                      2. I just love the store brand name "Best Yet"..."It ain't very good but it's our Best Yet"......

                                                                                          1. 'Hand-cut' and 'Hand-cooked' as if this somehow makes the food more 'natural'...They still use cheap and nasty ingredients but because they supposedly cut them and cook them by hand, they instantly become wholesome...(not)

                                                                                            1. Sign at BBQ place:
                                                                                              "So good you'll slap your momma."

                                                                                              What possible connection could there be between food quality and domestic abuse?

                                                                                              Rude *and* their potato salad sucked

                                                                                              1. "Artisan", as in "artisan bread" and "artisan cheese" and "artisan _____".

                                                                                                Since when does making something by hand (or not in a factory) make it "artisanal?"

                                                                                                Does that mean everything we cook at home qualifies?

                                                                                                1. Did someone mention 'chef inspired'. What the hey? I am always pleased it is not plumber inspired. Or brick layer inspired.

                                                                                                  1. Walked past Popeye's last night and saw a new poster in the window hawking their "bonafide chicken." I don't eat there myself but never, until now, questioned the source of meat served.

                                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                                    1. re: tcamp

                                                                                                      hilarious - what was it before this sign went up? The mind boggles.