Saturday, May 24, 2014

Red Velvet Fever

A few months back I was salivating over the Cinnabon craze. I shared a number of product line extensions and licenses introduced by the owner of that trademark. I also had some sweet ideas of my own. Today’s post is in a similar vein. It was inspired by the NY Times article: “Red Velvet Cake: A Classic, not a Gimmick.” In my shrine of confectionary treasures, Red Velvet Cake (RVC) would be right up there next to the Cinnabon.

The Times article describes RVC as having “cocoa undertones and cream-cheese tang” that can easily be recreated in a lab. Adams Extract Company markets an RV cake mix complete with bottles of the extract and red dye. Some of the non-edible RVC products available are the predictable scented candles and air fresheners. Less yawn-inducing are the body mist and red velvet vodka.

As I did with the Cinnabon, I’ve conjured up some products for retirees that incorporate the undertones and tang of red velvet. I doubt any of my ideas will outshine the red velvet waffles served at Freddy J’s BBQ in Buffalo, but here goes.

The first items on my list are Red Velvet Bath Sponges and Shower Poufs. Retirees are sometimes tempted to substitute a quick sink-side swish of the important areas for a full shower on days when we have no plans to go out. Our dermatologists may even have suggested that our aging skin will fare better without a ritual scrubbing every day. It will be hard to resist a hot shower, or even a lukewarm bath, if the aroma of RVC is wafting in the air. Your unexpected guests will thank me for this.

Taking the body mist idea into a more functional mode, RVC Insect Repellent will allow us to lounge a bit longer on the patio at sundown without fear of being “eaten alive,” as my mother used to say. The RVC formulation will be so treacly that most mosquitos will want no part of it. Those that are brave enough to land on your skin will keel over from cloying nostrils, or whatever part of the anatomy an insect breathes through.

Seniors will be especially excited to try Powdered RVC Psyllium Husks. This new source of fiber is expected to sell three times the volume of orange-flavored Metamucil. I can’t believe Procter & Gamble has owned that staple of retirement for almost thirty years and they never thought of a RVC line extension.

I’m also hopping on one of the hottest beverage crazes, energy drinks, by introducing RVC Vitamin Water. Actually, I can’t call it Vitamin Water; that’s a trademark. So I’ll call it Red Velvet Cake Vigor Eau. Rhymes with Figaro. Google tells me there’s a men’s cologne called Vigor, or more correctly: Vigor Eau de Toilette. But since you don’t drink that (or at least, you’re not supposed to), I think I’ll be OK with my RVC Vigor Eau.

If the reason you crave Vigor Eau is that you’ve been exercising strenuously, there’s a good chance (as an older person) that you’ve sprained something and need to wear an Ace bandage for awhile. To help take the sting out of the experience, I’ve created a Red Velvet Cake Elastic Wrap. Every time you unroll it and stretch it around your sprain, you get a fresh whiff of RVC. Almost makes it worth working out. I said almost.

One of my favorite new products are my Red Velvet Slipper Socks, and not just because they are, of course, red. They’re knitted of chenille yarn soaked in genuine red velvet extract from the Adams Extract Company. The toes have packets of cream-cheese-flavored body lotion so they moisturize while you walk. If your partner has a foot fetish, expect lots of massages and some toe-licking—a win-win. Or not.

Finally, I’m line extending one of the items I developed in response to the Cinnabon Craze. Soon you’ll be able to buy Red Velvet Cake Postage Stamps. As with the Cinnabon ones, they’ll be the type you have to lick. So they’ll not only smell good, they’ll taste great. I’ve decided these stamps are such a brilliant idea that I’m working on an Americana Baked Goods collection for the USPS. In addition to the Cinnabon and RVC, you’ll get Carrot Cake and Strawberry Shortcake stamps—four options on one block! You can thank me later.

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