I’m calling it because someone has to: As of 10:00 a.m. Eastern Standard Time, we have reached peak junk food mashup. And it’s all because of the Krispy Kreme Reese’s Peanut Butter Doughnut.
This is a doughnut “filled with smooth Reese’s Peanut Butter sauce” and “hand-dipped in choc icing, topped with REESE’S peanut butter chips and vanilla biscuit crumbs and finished with a light choc drizzle,” Krispy Kreme says. Everyone is talking about it, but guess what! No one in the U.S. is even eating it because it’s been released in Australia, not in the U.S. I even called our nearest Krispy Kreme, and sure enough, not only does it not currently carry this doughnut, but the employee I spoke with told me she doesn’t think it’ll ever carry it.
But that doesn’t matter. The doughnut is still trending like everyone you know just bought a dozen and gobbled them down right there in the parking lot, which they did not do. Does it matter? Not a bit. And here we reveal the truth about junk food mashups: We don’t even want to eat that stuff. We just like the idea of it.
I want you to imagine yourself actually eating that Peanut Butter Cup doughnut with its “choc drizzle” and non sequitur vanilla biscuit crumbs. That first bite is going to be “Wow! What is happening to my mouth?” And then you’re going to take another bite, expecting the same thrill, but it’s not going to be quite as good. And you’ll keep eating and eating, hoping with each bite to capture that shock of novelty. And it won’t happen. And then you’ll have to spend the next 30 days slowly digesting that doughnut while PJ Harvey sings “Is That All There Is” in your mind over and over again.
This is the story of 90 percent of junk food mashups, and it’s getting kind of old.
That’s not going to stop the trend anytime soon, though. Oh no. We’re heading into pumpkin spice season, when we try to wedge that flavor combination into every kind of food we can, whether it makes sense or not. And then there’s the holidays, so expect more of the same. But make no mistake. We’ve hit peak junk food mashup, and it’s all downhill from here unless the food makers get a whole lot more creative than this.
And no, it’s not lost on me that the phrase “we’ve hit peak X” has also probably peaked.