(This post contains spoilers)
I love trying new products. It’s always fun to see what new items show up in stores. Now, because I have so many dietary restrictions and food allergies, I can’t always try things. But, I like seeing them. Lifetime’s new series Supermarket Superstar (airing original episodes on Mondays at 10pm Eastern) is a competition show where home cooks compete to get a product on grocery store shelves. It may sound like just another reality cooking competition, but is actually a lot of fun.
Each week 3 contestants compete in several different rounds to be selected to have an item of their own creation to be selected as the product that would be best distributed in stores. The contestants compete within product categories the first episode featured cakes, while upcoming episodes will feature categories such as global cuisine and natural foods. There are multiple steps for each contestant from tastings to packaging choices. It’s very interesting to learn about how a product is marketed to the public. After all the individual rounds are completed several finalists will compete for a national production and distribution deal with A&P chain stores.
The judges definitely outshine the host on Supermarket Superstar. Stacy Keibler is a very boring host. Thankfully she’s not on screen that much. The judges are all very talented and their feedback adds a lot to the show. Michael Chiarello is an amazing chef and I’m always interested in hearing his food critiques. Debbi Fields is just as sweet as I remember her being when I used to watch her on the Food Network when I was a little girl. She’s not just sweet; she’s also very sharp and has great product advice. Branding expert Chris Cornyn is very intense, but provides a lot of expertise.
I enjoyed the first episode, but I did not agree with the judge’s decision about the winner. At first I though that I could be confident in their verdicts, after they sent home the guy who wanted to sell boozed up cakes. But, then when they selected the random frozen cobbler cake (I don’t like cobbler- at all and I’m not wild about frozen cakes) over the cute Baking with Melissa kit- I was disappointed. First of all, Melissa has a super cute personality and great personal style. Second, I love that she used butterscotch for her baking kit. I love butterscotch! I thought it was really neat to see something other than just another chocolate chip cookie product. Finally, I thought her baking kits could come in many more varieties than those cobbler cake or peach items. I think they sent the wrong person home. I’ll definitely be cheering for Melissa’s future successes because I think she has great ideas about making baking communal and fun!
This show is cute. When I’m stressed and tired my favorite kind of show to watch is something that will be fun and at least somewhat enlightening. Supermarket Superstar fit the bill during episode one and I’ll be interested to see it if continues to be interesting over the course of the season.
Kari’s Rating- 7
Supermarket Superstar is a new show on Lifetime that gives people that have ideas for mass-market foods to compete to get corporate backing and actually into A&P Grocery Stores. Based on this first episode I’ll be tuning in every time.
Our favorite from the start was children’s entertainer Melissa with her cookie cupcakes. Especially once she added the idea of it being a kit that could be used for parties. What a genius idea! I love DIY foods as a concept. I don’t have to worry about that, since Kari does so much from scratch on her own, but based on how much I enjoy watching her prepare food and claim I’m helping, this could be a big idea. Ultimately she lost to a frozen peach cobbler cake. Snore. It’s a shame she went with butterscotch as her one flavor to show the A&P buyer instead of chocolate chip. You could always expand to other flavors. I’m just glad that the third contestant didn’t win. His Cakebuzz idea shocked everyone with how much alcohol was in each cake. His product would work well as a concept to build a bar around, but not in the supermarket shelves.
The coolest thing about this show is the process. Once you present your item, you then get to go through in a test kitchen and see how much it would actually cost per unit. That’s great information that first time entrepreneurs probably wouldn’t think of. Next they get the benefit of a focus group. Once they get that feedback, and after one of the contestants is eliminated, they have to create the packaging for their product including a name and brand. My favorite moment in the whole episode was when Chris Cornyn was helping everyone with their branding and asked Treecie what she wanted her brand to be in a very no nonsense manner. I love branding! I’ve actually created a few products myself (sadly none have taken off) and have tons of ideas for businesses. This is a great show for anyone who has an idea that they’d like to see made famous someday, and isn’t that really all of us? So what if I feel like they got it wrong the first time, just like the free markets, they’ll get it right eventually.
(All images from myliftetime.com)