Creative Product Names
Table talk: March 2017
by M.B. Lewis
From the March, 2017 issue
In Mary Dunham's twenty-seven years of selling chocolates for Kilwins, she's answered a lot of questions about the chocolate-caramel and nut clusters that Kilwins calls "Tuttles." Many customers assume they're catching the Liberty St. confectioner in a typo. "People want to know why we don't call them 'Turtles,'" Dunham says. She explains that there's a trademark on that name, so candy makers worldwide use clever stand-ins: "Myrtles, Snappers, you name it."
The town abounds in creative product names. Cheerfully eccentric coffee roaster John Roos prompts many discussions with his distinctively named and packaged beans. Wife and business partner Kath Weider-Roos says their graphic designer "mines decades of John's sketchbooks" for package illustrations and names for their coffees. Their best-seller started as a list of some of John's favorite things, which he reportedly first chanted during a bike ride, pedaling madly to the mantra of "Lobster, Butter, Love." The rest is smooth Sumatra-blend history.
There's another fun story behind "Wei's Furrawri," the medium roast "Blend of the Month" for February at the new Sweetwaters in the Westgate library. According to the young men working as baristas one slow snowy afternoon, a few years back Sweetwaters co-founder Wei Bee talked so much about wanting a red Ferrari that staffers gave him the next best thing--a coffee whose name sounds like his dream car, without violating any trademarks.
Finally, consider the meaningful pun at the heart (or exoskeleton) of "Chirps"-brand chips. At Arbor Farms last fall, samples were set out by open orange bags proclaiming "Eat What Bugs You." A sign invited passersby to try the "cricket-flour chips." They look disarmingly like corn chips--but proudly announced that they contain "one cricket per chip."
[Originally published in March, 2017.]
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