How to Sell Even More Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle Pizzas

Shopping carts for kids are all the rage at the Bonus Foods supermarkets in Virginia, according to the Washington Post. Moms love two-foot-high metal shopping baskets because they keep their pesky charges occupied. Bonus store executives love them because they want to keep the moms happy . . . not to mention the free-spending under-10 set.

And What Do Kids Do With All Those Pizzas?

A recent survey by the Quaker Company revealed that 64% of U.S. school kids are packing their own lunches. Two-thirds of the independent tykes said they pack foods that are good for them--though only 6% pack vegetables. Only 9% said they packed candy in their lunch boxes. There were no figures on Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle Pizzas.

Inventions We Didn't Need

Flipping through the holiday edition of "The Chef's Catalog," we spotted the Spoonula. ("It's a spoon! It's a spatula!") . . . Then there's the programmable toaster that the catalogue says is "so user-friendly, we just had to call it a Toasting Genius!" The wide-mouthed "electronic microchip marvel" with the "cool-touch body" comes with a digital readout, beeps when your toast is ready and can supposedly tell the difference between a bagel and a muffin . . . well, so can we.

Just a Big Puppy Dog

In these environmentally conscious times, there are those who oppose the consumption

of anything that once sported feathers or fur. Now even steely-eyed man-eaters

have their supporters. Last week the Wall Street Journal reported the emergence of a pro-shark movement. Griped one fisherman, "(They're) trying to give sharks a personality." Sharks, say the conservationists, don't eat that many people, and are actually quite timid. One friend of the shark--who leads tour groups to pet and hug sharks--referred to them as puppy dogs. But sharks may have a ways to go in their public image campaign. As National Geographic underwater photographer David Doubilet told the Journal, "Sharks, to be quite honest, are cold fish."

Buddies Stick Together

If Burger King's brand-new Burger Buddies seem familiar, that's because the itsy-bitsy hamburgers are essentially Burger King's old Burger Bundles . . . reborn, you might say, as Siamese twins. According to Nation's Restaurant News, there were "operational difficulties" with the original one-ounce burgers. Franchisees complained that the little burgers kept falling through the bars of the conveyor-style flame broilers. And the ones that survived their harrowing broiler journey were often overcooked. The solution? The buddy system: Two meat patties, attached like a figure eight, go through the broiler together. Add two sets of buns and serve.

It's a Big, Bold Wine. Dazzling Depth, Extraordinary Strength. Delivers a Wallop.

Seven wineries that were shaken up in last year's 7.1 Northern California temblor have joined forces to create "Epicenter Cuvee," a blend of 1989 Santa Cruz Mountains Chardonnay. A third of the proceeds will go to an earthquake relief fund.

What's Next? An Agent Cooper Doughnut Special at Winchell's?

One of the dangers of capturing the Zeitgeist is the unintentional triggering of a me-too effect. Everyone wants a piece of the pie. In the case of the "Twin Peaks" phenomenon, a piece of cherry pie. Consider the latest promotion--"to commemorate a new season of ABC's 'Twin Peaks' "--from the Du-par's chain of coffee shops: a fresh-baked whole cherry pie at the reduced price of $4.95. Du-par's owner, Herbert W. Oberst came up with the idea when he heard that fans of the pie-loving show were buying Du-par's cherry pies for their "Twin Peaks" viewing parties.

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