Like most of the major supermarket chains, Sainsburys has its own range of food products that are catered to the ‘less discerning’ customer, like homeless people or students. Sainsburys, however, has gone the extra mile with its ‘Basics’ range. Each item has its own tagline to liven up the bland red and white packaging, but this attempt appears astonishingly misguided when you realise the taglines are, without exception, eye-gougingly awful:
Basics Strawberries – ‘All shapes and sizes, all ripe and ready’
I thought they were advertising strawberries, not a brothel?
Basics Pineapple Pieces in Juice – ‘All sizes under the sun’
Thank god for that. I never buy pineapple chunks normally for fear that there will somehow be a piece the size of the sun itself, but Basics puts those doubts to rest. Still, the scope for disappointment is huge when the packaging makes such an outrageous promise.
Basics Cooked and Peeled Prawns – ‘Responsibly sourced, single prawns, why shell out more’
Sainsburys fails to understand that there’s a thin line between ‘funny’ puns and puns that make customers want to curse the staff with violent diarrhoea. And much as I like that the prawns were responsibly sourced, I don’t see how their inability to hold down a girlfriend would make me want to eat them more.
Basics 5 Sponge Scourers – ‘Cleans. No added promises’
Sponge scourers don’t take shit from anyone. When these sponges aren’t cleaning (and nothing else, ok?) they hang around on the docks, smoking and bare-knuckle boxing. You don’t like it, you can fuck off.
Basics Spring Rolls – ‘Simple recipe, still an exotic little package’
I’m pretty sure writing Basics taglines is one of those tasks they give to prisoners to keep them busy while they’re serving their time. It can’t be helping rehabilitation though. Pretty sure they’re actually offering a Thai bride in this case as well.
Basics Toilet Paper – ‘Everyday design, everyday use’
Nah, I only get the toilet paper for the pictures. It’s nice that Sainsburys assumes there’s an everyday use for sandpaper too.
Basics Medium Cut Orange Marmalade – ‘Less oranges, still Seville’
Things suddenly take a dramatic turn for the surreal. There’s a lot I look for in marmalade, but one criterion that never really comes up is its similarity to the regional capital of Andalusia in Spain. As far as I’m aware, it’s not very common to use names of cities as adjectives either. Nobody starts conversations by talking about how Paris the weather is today or the really Sao Paolo restaurant that just opened.
Basics Apple Pie – ‘A little smaller, still in Apple Pie order’
Now I know the last one was actually referring to Seville oranges, but this one is indefensible. The poor convict bastard writing these must have been inches from snapping, and only had time to drool the name of the product at the end. It doesn’t make any sense, but then, neither does life for him anymore. The next batch of products isn’t going to be more imaginative than ‘A quiche quicher, but quichey quiche quiches.’