Video Of TikToker Joel Hansen (Modelvsfood) Gagging In Asian Grocery Store, Saying It Has A ‘Pet Store’ Draws Backlash

A Canadian social media influencer faced fierce backlash over a racist video in which he joked that an Asian market has a “pet store” in the back.

The influencer ultimately apologized for his ignorance—but viewers aren’t buying it.

“Under his apology video, there are people saying ‘we’ forgive u. Bro, who’s we?!” one TikTok user commented.

Joel Hansen, known as @modelvsfood across TikTokInstagram, and Facebook, set himself up for failure in May—Asian American-Pacific Islander Heritage Month—when he mocked the Asian store and its items in the TikTok video. The 3-minute video, which has been deleted, was captured by TikToker Michael or @chachamyeonmikal.

In the clip, which has a text banner reading “This food should be illegal,” Hansen can be seen standing outside the Asian supermarket T&T.

“If you have never been in an Asian grocery store, you’re about to be shocked!” he says.

The video then shows Hansen inside the store, where he smells durian—a fruit popular in Southeast Asia—and makes a disgusted face. Next, he questions a plucked chicken and why it was being sold with its feet still intact.

“They even have a pet store back here where you can grab whatever animals you want!” Hansen exclaims while holding a crab with tongs at the seafood counter.

At this point, Michael interrupts the video repost to make a statement about Hansen’s racist comments.

“I had to stop right at that comment about there being a pet store at the back of an Asian grocery store,” Michael says. “Like, you have to know how bad that sounds and how bad that looks.”

Then, Michael transitions back to Hansen’s TikTok footage, which includes visible hashtags like “food challenge,” “eww,” “gross,” “gross food,” “gross food challenge,” and “California food.”

“I know he leads a flavourless life,” someone commented under Michael’s repost of the video.

“Bro shocked by fresh seafood lmao,” another viewer posted.

In another video reposted by Michael, Hansen is still at the grocery store making jokes about the customers.

“We have customers in training,” Hansen says as an Asian child walks by with a kiddie cart.

“Omg,” a TikTok viewer commented under the video. “I used to watch him all the time on YouTube, but I literally stopped because any time he eats somewhere that has non American food—”

“The way he treats Asian people as props in his video to poke and make fun at,” another user said.

After the relentless criticism, Hansen issued a 6-minute apology on TikTok on May 20, titled “Sorry” with a frowning emoticon. The video is captioned, “No excuses. I am sorry. I cannot change the past, but I can change the future. I will do better. Thank you.”

“I’ll start by saying I truly regret what was released, how it was released, and I really do take responsibility, and I really apologize,” Hansen says. “The video has been removed, and I’m here again to verbalize and to ensure that nothing like this happens again. The video was absolutely clickbait-y, marketed, edited, and created for shock value. With my layers of privilege, I did not identify really with how this video was.”

Hansen implies that he was unaware of how the video was being edited and marketed, but that he still takes responsibility for its production. Then, Hansen tries to downplay his reactions to the supermarket.

“I never spoke the words ‘weird,’ ‘gross.’ I just kind of wanted to show items that you normally can’t acquire in a North American grocery store,” he says in the apology video. (For the record: T&T is the largest Asian grocery store chain in Canada with nearly 30 locations.)

Source: The Daily Beast

What Really Made Coca-Cola Discontinue Honest Tea—And What It Means For Mission-Driven Brands

Honest Tea founder Seth Goldman described it as a “gut punch.” This week, the Coca-Cola Co. announced it is killing the brand he created back in 1998. 

That’s quite a twist in a story that had long seemed like a case study in how a mission-driven brand built around ethical principles—organic ingredients, Fair Trade Certified partners—could capture a changing consumer zeitgeist, connect with an audience, and go big.

Instead, the brand will be “phased out” of the Coca-Cola Co.’s beverage portfolio at the end of 2022. (It’s keeping a spin-off line of organic juice products called Honest Kids.)

Since selling Honest Tea in a multimillion-dollar deal, Goldman has moved on to help found ethical-food startups Eat the Change and PLNT Burger, and serve as the chair of Beyond Meat’s board. He took to LinkedIn to pay tribute to “the sweat, tears, and incredible passion that went into building our beloved brand.”

Perhaps Honest Tea will still live on as a case study: How an apparently successful mission-driven brand can beat the odds, transcend its niche, find a backer who believes in it, make the transition to the mainstream—and still end up dying. 

Coca-Cola assumed full ownership eventually. Goldman stayed involved, and Honest Tea remained in its Bethesda, Maryland, home base. The product itself was never watered down, and as late as 2018 Goldman still saw it as poised for “global growth.” Sales had reportedly risen from $71 million in 2010 to around $600 million. 

But the brand’s momentum had slowed. Sales in the first half of 2019 declined 16%, according to Beverage Digest, in the midst of a wider decline in ready-to-drink tea sales.

The market had gotten far more competitive, and shelves were crowded with functional beverages, cold brew coffees, and antioxidant waters. The consumer zeitgeist that helped propel Honest Tea’s success had shifted. At the end of that year, Goldman left the company to pursue new ventures; Honest Tea’s offices were moved to Atlanta. 

Coke, meanwhile, appeared to lose enthusiasm for niche-ier brands in general, according to a 2021 Business Insider report. And in its announcement this week, the company explained the move as a straightforward consolidation of its tea strategy, sacrificing Honest Tea to focus on two more successful lines.

Those two would be Gold Peak, a virtuous-looking bottled tea brand that Coke has backed with nationwide marketing, and Peace Tea, a growing regional offering that has “a loyal, Gen Z following.” Neither hits the various mission-y notes that defined the Honest brand. 

Honest Tea’s identity, in contrast, seemed less flexible or expansive. And that was fine when the consumer mood was moving in its direction—but feels more limiting now. A sincere mission can help a brand break through to a solid, loyal audience of consumers. But put that mission-centric brand in the middle of a mass-oriented owner’s sprawling portfolio, and that same identity can become a constraint.

Honest Tea really did carve out an authentic, specific space in the consumer landscape: It truly stood for something. And that, in the end, was its downfall.

Source: Fast Company

Coca-Cola Opens UK Pop-Up Store With High-End Fashion Collabs And Beverage Bar

Coca-Cola has been in the beverage game since 1886. In that long, storied history, Coca-Cola has not only sold a lot of soda worldwide but spawned a thriving ecosystem full of sought-after, licensed memorabilia. The cola king’s signature red, Spencerian script wordmark, ribbon, and contour bottles add value and desirability to everything from vintage appliances, vending machines, and promotional displays to clothing, toys, and personalized cans and bottles.

Now, the brand is bringing a retail IRL experience to the UK with a pop-up store in London’s Covent Garden. Running now through September, Coca-Cola’s retail shop features a beverage bar serving classic Coke products, including mocktails, exclusive merchandise, and clothing collaborations with Alma de Ace, BAPE, BE@RBRICK, Herschel, Soho Grit, and Staple. Additionally, the Coca-Cola store will offer limited-edition merchandise for Pride this upcoming June.

While brands are racing to launch NFTs and meta everything, Coca-Cola seems to be opting for IRL experiences with pop-up stores. Not only that, but they released high-concept sodas like Starlight and Pixel, which flips the script on Web3, bringing digital to the real world instead of the other way around.

Guess it’s nice to be able to physically hold your creations, huh?

Source: The Dieline

Tropicana Is Dropping A New Breakfast Cereal ‘Made For OJ’

In celebration of National Orange Juice Day, juice company Tropicana is expanding its product portfolio – and hoping to catch the eye of younger consumers via a new push on social media – with the upcoming release of Tropicana Crunch.

Orange juice has long been a breakfast staple, but most of us prefer it in a glass. Now Tropicana is shaking things up by encouraging consumers to try orange juice directly on top of their cereal.

The juice company has just announced the upcoming release of Tropicana Crunch, its new breakfast cereal, which has been created specifically to be paired with orange juice instead of milk. According to the brand, this is an untraditional culinary combo that 15 million Americans – ”the total populations of New York City, Los Angeles and Chicago combined” – have already tried.

Tropicana Crunch is slated for release on May 4, National Orange Juice Day in the United States. Consumers can visit http://www.tropicanacrunch.com beginning on May 4 to snag their own box of the honey almond-flavored cereal.

Even the brand acknowledges on its new product’s website that Tropicana Crunch is a bit of an oddity that may not immediately become a culture-wide phenomenon. “Orange juice on cereal. Some call it weird. Some call it breakfast. We… didn’t even know it was a thing,” the brand says on the Tropicana Crunch website. “It may not be for everyone (but it could be for you!).”

The brand hopes to boost engagement with fans after the release of its new breakfast cereal with an accompanying social media campaign. Whether they “loved it or loathed it,” the brand says, fans are encouraged to describe their experience with Tropicana Crunch on Instagram and TikTok while tagging the brand and using the hashtag #TropicanaCrunch. The brand has also recruited a cohort of “TikTok’s top taste-test influencers” to try the OJ-drenched product and spread the word to their legions of followers.

Source: The Drum

How Food Commercials Are Made

Have you ever wondered how food looks so mouthwatering in advertisements? Steve Giralt is a food photographer. He has worked for brands like Hershey’s, Budweiser, Pepsi, and Starbucks. Steve uses a symphony of people, cameras, and robots to get the perfect shot.

How Doja Cat Brought Back Taco Bell’s Mexican Pizza — The Complete Timeline

Fast food restaurant brand Taco Bell is bringing back the Mexican Pizza, as announced by Doja Cat at Coachella, but what did the singer do to establish its return and how did she become the chain’s spokesperson?

Doja Cat’s debut Coachella stage was everything we wanted – and more. She brought out Tyga and Rico Nasty, and performed new song Vegas that will feature in Baz Luhrmann’s forthcoming movie Elvis. 

What we didn’t expect was breaking news regarding the return of the Mexican Pizza at Taco Bell. The singer is known to be a loyal fan of the fast-food fave and has been campaigning for the item’s return since it was taken off the menu in 2020.

Let’s take a look at her perseverance for the sake of Mexican Pizza over the past year.

Doja Cat, a Taco Bell partner, announced the mouthwatering news at the weekend and the chain followed with a press release on Monday, stating the singer “literally dropped the mic with the hot news of the Mexican Pizza’s return this May”.

It wasn’t just Doja at the forefront of the Mexican Pizza movement, more than 200,000 fans signed a Change.org petition spearheaded by Krish Jagirdar, who called the item a “bridge to American culture for kids who grew up in immigrant households”.

The Mexican Pizza, which features refried beans and ground beef sandwiched between crispy tortillas and topped with melted cheese and tomatoes, will be available from 19 May.

The 200,000 signatures surely made a difference but would it have had the same impact without a passionate celeb at the forefront?

Taco Bell removed the fan favourite in 2020 as chains streamlined menus following the pandemic, while the packaging reportedly “accounted for more than seven million pounds of paperboard annually in the US”.

The Say So singer’s history with the chain dates to May 2021, when she tweeted her determination to bring back the pizza.

Taco Bell congratulated Doja Cat on her album release in June 2021 but never got back to her about the product. By September, an irritated Doja complained to Taco Bell.

“I want my Mexican Pizza back @tacobell why u quiet”, she tweeted.

Two hours later, the company hinted it was actually considering the Mexican Pizza’s return but all remained quiet until Doja asked for more information after Taco Bell featured one of her songs in a commercial.

By February 2022, the rapper was truly part of the Taco Bell team as she starred in its Super Bowl 2022 ad, The Grande Escape, covering Hole track Celebrity Skin.

The 26-year-old proved she could create music about anything with her viral ditty about the food item, although she forbade anyone to call it a jingle. Joking she was forced to make a song due to “contractual reasons”, she claimed she had tried to make the track bad but it came out pretty catchy and went viral on TikTok.

There you have it, Doja got the Mexican Pizza thanks to her perseverance and ability to create a tune Taco Bell couldn’t resist.

Source: HITC

Hasbulla Took Money Kicks’ Car!

Money Kicks got to spend a day with the legend Hasbulla AKA Mini Khabib in Dubai. Hasbulla Magomedov is one of the most famous people on the internet. Hasbulla even gifted Money Kicks an NFT. He is one of Money Kick’s favorite people and they’ve had many funny moments. They went for dinner and also had a mini fight, he’s really strong.

Pepsi And IHOP Are Teaming Up For A Breakfast-Inspired Soda

Pepsi has teamed up with breakfast giant IHOP to create an all-new soda designed for the early mornings. On Thursday, the cola maker announced plans for a maple syrup-inspired beverage that boasts the same classic refreshment of a Pepsi but with a definitively IHOP twist.

So if you’ve ever sucked down a Pepsi right alongside your brunch pancakes and thought, “Now this is a combo,” you’re in luck! On March 24, Pepsi kicked off the sweepstakes on social media, giving fans the chance to win their own six-pack. While Pepsi Maple Syrup will not be joining retailers (yet, at least—you can never say never), you can post a photo or video of your stacks online alongside the hashtag #ShowUsYourStack, #PepsiSweepstakes, and @IHOP. Then, 2,000 winners will have a chance to try the first-of-its-kind flavor.

“There is truly nothing quite like the indulgent taste of Pepsi Maple Syrup Cola—sweet maple syrup blended with the refreshing taste of Pepsi cola. We couldn’t be more excited to partner with IHOP on this special initiative, as it isn’t often we get to bring together two iconic brands to satisfy the cravings of pancake and Pepsi lovers alike,” Chief Marketing Officer for Pepsi Todd Kaplan said in a press release. “We can’t wait to celebrate those who have an unapologetic love of pancakes by giving the limited-edition cans to 2,000 fans who #ShowUsYourStack online.” 

Pepsi Maple Syrup Cola—which we can only assume tastes exactly how it sounds—follows similar innovations from the drink manufacturer, including a Peeps-inspired PepsiPepsi Apple Pie, and Pepsi x Cracker Jack.

“At IHOP we celebrate our history of bringing folks together and providing a sense of togetherness, belonging and joy when they dine with us,” chief marketing officer for IHOP Kieran Donahue added in the release. “We are thrilled to partner with Pepsi to have some fun and create a moment for our guests to bring home an additional source of happiness with this limited-edition Pepsi Maple Syrup Cola.” 

Source: Thrillist