By Micah Hanks
Body piercings aren’t for everybody, but in many cases they’re kinda neat… as long as they aren’t through one’s eyeball, or the middle of their pinky finger. Similarly, baseball is a great sport, but it didn’t make its way past third base to being dubbed “America’s past time” by using rotting ostrich eggs instead of baseballs. And finally, following this set of examples, we can safely assume that expecting moms don’t often rub baby urine on their swelling bellies to insure a smooth delivery of their wee-ones… in this country at least.
That being said, traditions do vary from country to country, though none of the bad ideas expressed above are actual foreign practices (that I know of). Nonetheless, there are a lot of bad ideas that crop up in lands afar that are nearly as bad, and leave us here in the west wondering “what the heck?” What follows are two examples of poor marketing from the Land of the Rising Sun which illustrate how not to sell a beverage.
First up is Sangaria, a brand with an entire selection of fake alcoholic drinks for kids:
Kodomo no nomimono, or “Children’s drink,” is offered in bottles, cans and six-packs in Japan, where parties and group events are often inclusive of a wide age group. The Sangaria company offers versions of wine, champagne, beer and cocktails that resemble their alcoholic counterparts all excepting taste; instead of fermented water, malt, and hops, Sangaria’s beer tastes like apple juice (although it does create a beerish-looking head when poured into a glass). In the western world, especially the UK where binge drinking and alcoholism run rampant, could such a strange product possibly ever make it past the public, health agencies, religious organizations, and other critics?
Yet another frighteningly bad idea is “Bilk,” a low-malt Japanese beer brewed with milk. This weird combination came about after dairy firms threw out a huge amount of unused milk in March 2007. Hoping to find a way to increase the amount of milk being consumed, a dairy farmer and liquor store manager’s son in Nakashibetsu suggested the idea of producing the milk beer to a brewery in his area, the Abashiri Beer. The logic here seems a bit questionable to me… milk consumption goes down, so make it even less savory to an already fickle public by blending it with beer, of all things? I’ve heard of a milk stout, but “Bilk” may just take the cake.
I think I’d try it at least once… but forget pouring it over cereal.