The Sweetest Perfection

Posted on August 29, 2008 by

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In 1990, Oscar Mayer took the snack foods market by storm with their new snack line, the Lunchable. This product, the result of five painstaking years of research by Oscar Mayer R&D, was targeted directly at Nabisco’s “Lunch-O-Rama”, then heavyweight in the world of snack foods. As Oscar Mayer planned, the Lunchables’ perfectly balanced, convenient, and smartly assembled combination of meats, cheeses, crackers, and heavily processed condiments quickly dominated grocery store deli foods aisles across the country. The name “Lunch-O-Rama” was never heard on afternoon TV ads again.

In 1993, Oscar Mayer cemented its stranglehold on the industry by adding desserts to their Lunchables lineup. In March 1994, this new line of Lunchables-with-desserts made their first appearance in London. It just so happened that in April of that very same year, Martin Gore of Depeche Mode penned the lyrics to his smash hit, “The Sweetest Perfection”. Coincidence? I think not. Let’s look at the evidence.

First, the title of the song gives us a clue. With the word “sweet”, Martin informs us that he’s not talking about Cheese-Its, Wheat Thins, or Triscuits. In fact, Lunchables were, at that time, the only major snack food item to include a “sweet” dessert. And “perfection” can only refer to the perfect combination of food items contained in each Lunchables package. “Sweetest Perfection” indeed.

The song begins with the words, “The sweetest perfection to call my own, the slightest correction couldn’t finely hone…” This, of course, refers to the highly publicized Lunchables Succession Crisis of April 13, 1994, where Roger Dukelmeyer, COO of Oscar Mayer’s Lunchable’s division, moved to replace the Lunchables hot Dijon mustard sauce with Japanese wasabi. Fortunately for Oscar Mayer (and for the tender palates of millions of children around the world,) the R&D department had Dukelmeyer arrested and deported before his nefarious plan could be brought to pass. Gore commemorates this victory in his song, observing that there is no correction that could increase the perfection of this snackstravaganza.

Gore continues the song, “The sweetest perfection, an offer was made, an assorted collection which I wouldn’t trade.” The arrival of Lunchables on the London scene created a market frenzy, and stores from London to Wessex were constantly out of stock. An underground market quickly formed where Lunchables were shadily exchanged for goods and services. Gore, however, held firm to his devotion. Forensics testing shows that no Lunchables ever left Gore’s residence during this tumultuous time.

The song also gives passing mention to the backlash anti-Lunchables crusade that formed in response to the untoward behavior exhibited by some Lunchables fanatics during this period. “Things you’d expect to be having effect on me pass undetectedly,” writes Gore. You see, the anti-Lunchables movement had been spreading rumors that Lunchables were difficult on the digestive tract, and often caused intestinal blockages. However, with these simple words, Gore affirms his satisfaction, and his regularity.

In fact, it may be said that some of the most touching lyrics in modern pop music are found in Gore’s sweet devotive strains: “Takes me completely, touches so sweetly, reaches so deeply,” and “I stop and I stare too much, afraid that I care too much, and I hardly dare to touch for fear that the spell may be broken.” It is obvious, of course, that only one commercial product could stir such heartfelt emotions in a man.

Thank you Oscar Mayer, and thank you Martin Gore. Your respective products and devotions do not go unnoticed. While we may not be able to sufficiently repay our debt to you, we hope that the gratitude of the taste buds of millions of small children throughout the world may be reward enough for your labors.

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Posted in: Special Report