Thursday, November 08, 2007

Gaijin Condiment: Camouflage Ranch

Of late, diners have been raving about the delicious deals found at Inaka Express, especially the supposedly delectable condiment known as “Yellow Sauce,” said to enhance the culinary experience to no end.
Food critic Johnny Gutts was finally convinced by associates to brave this eatery and all it had to offer, particularly this renowned “Yellow Sauce.”
Mister Gutts was not impressed.
First of all, the name. Calling it “Yellow Sauce” conjures up images of cafeteria sculleries with 200-litre drums of foodstuffs lorded over by heavy-set, middle-aged women with turf issues wielding stainless steel ladles. You’d think they would’ve come up with a more appealing moniker, like “Essence of Dragon’s Breath,” or “Minamoto Mayo,” or even just “Ninja Sauce” (even the kids would dig that one).
Then, there was the flavour. Weak. Like thinned-out Ranch dressing. That’s been sitting around for two days. With Yellow Dye No.5 added.
Johnny Gutts grimaced as he swirled the sauce around in his mouth. The gears began turning in the back of his brain.
“Come to think of it, why didn’t they just call it ‘Ranch?’ Classic City does lie in the ‘Ranch Belt’ — that region of the country where Ranch dressing is a Mandatory Condiment... [one of the original Ten Condiments manifested on stone tablets brought down from Witch Mountain by Uncle Beignet...] But I digress...”
Gutts does have a point though. He offers sage culinary and marketing advice:
“Mister Inaka-san, do yourself and your patrons a favour. Ditch the yellow dye routine and just call a spade a spade. Put this on your menu...”

Kudos to Mister Gutts for developing a brand repositioning solution that is deferential to the regional demographic.