Serving suggestions

Have you ever noticed on food packaging that you often get a little ‘serving suggestion’ next to a picture of the food?

Have you ever noticed how stupid some of them are?

Case in point. Asda’s Golden Vegetable Soup in a Mug. It has croutons. I like croutons.

Ahem. I digress.


Serving suggestion: put it in a mug.

Genius. I had planned on putting it on a succession of tiny spoons and eating the soup off them, one by one.

Another example – Velvet Crunch Thai Sweet Chilli flavour…crisps?

velvet crunch
Serving suggestion: On a bed of fresh bamboo, with a handful of hot red chilli peppers.

Hey, now there’s a great name for a band…

Last, but by no means least, Belvita Breakfast Yogurt Crunch biscuits.

belvita packet
The tagline is ‘delicious biscuits specially designed for breakfast*’

Oh, look. A little asterisk. I love little asterisks. A biscuit with footnotes. Awesome.

The asterisk in question takes me to this:

latte and a banana“* Enjoy as part of a balanced breakfast, eg. with a latte and a banana.”

Or, as I like to call it, breakfast. Damn. And here was me planning to eat them as a mid-morning snack.

I’d been given these Belvita Breakfast Crunch at the train station on Monday morning. You get all sorts of freebies handed out on occasion, and the packaging on these really caught my eye.


NEW FORMAT” it screamed, in large, friendly letters. Err, what? It’s a biscuit. With a creamy live yogurt filling.

Remarkably like a large, oval custard cream biscuit. Not *that* new then, surely?

designed for breakfast

Below that there was a little “Designed for breakfast”, atop a weird stylised graph, the meaning of which I’m still not entirely clear about. The text is so small that I initially thought it said “Descend on breakfast”, which was odd, but not that much stranger than a biscuit designed for breakfast! If anyone can decipher the graph, let me know.

So, dear reader, have you seen any silly serving suggestions?


It seems that I am not alone! Nate Lanxon writes more on the subject

Author: dave

Book reviewer, occasional writer, photographer, coffee-lover, cyclist, spoon carver and stationery geek.

10 thoughts on “Serving suggestions”

  1. Descend on breakfast! Srsly, just laughing so much at the image of falling face first into a plate of biscuits because, you know, it’s breakfast. None of that posh sitting down to eat toast or porridge.

    Graph explanation: The not-so-cunning imagery is supposed to encourage people that it will boost your energy: “Hey folks! Feel empty from waking up after seven hours without food? Fill your stomach by falling into a plateful of sugary biscuits!” I think it’s meant to be a car/petrol gauge analogy.

    I’ve seen a lot of daft serving suggestions, but sadly no photos. Perhaps this could be a competition theme? Find the worst serving suggestion and win a pack of something that doesn’t have a stupid serving suggestion. 🙂

  2. I hope those Velvet Crunch things are good, as I’ve just bought some. That very flavour, too.

    I thought the point of the Belvita serving suggestion was like the Calvin & Hobbes strip about Chocolate Frosted Sugar Bombs being part of a nutritious breakfast! Regardless, they are useful when I go on holiday to hotels that charge €10 for brekkie, and I sometimes treat myself to a ‘writer’s breakfast’ of Belvita and coffee at the keyboard.

    1. They’re quite nice. Not quite as spicy as the packaging makes out, but not so bland as to require a handful of chillis to go with them. 🙂

      I actually quite liked the Belvita too – as I said, kind of a giant custard cream. The packaging just cracked me up.

  3. Have you looked in your pantry recently? Almost every tin or
    packet has a terrible serving suggestion on it. Frozen peas? On a plate. Canned corn? In a bowl of course! I saw a packet of nuts once with just nuts and bought else, like no space for anything else on the packet. Thus the suggestion was to cover every inch of available surface with nuts. Madness!!!

  4. I think it’s a legal requirement (or believed to be one by the paranoid food makers). If the illustration features something that is not contained within the package, people might sue for false advertising.

    The breakfast thing is the same – they can’t say Belvita has the health benefits described without mentioning the milk and the banana, because part of the claimed health benefits actually come from those items and not the biscuits.

    1. ha! probably true enough. “warning! These biscuits are not as good for you as we’d have you believe, unless you have a banana with them!”


  5. The best ‘serving suggestion’ I’ve ever seen was on a carton of vanilla yoghurt. It featured a cartoony drawing of a vanilla flower, with the caption ‘serving suggestion’. Oh right, I’ll just crush the yoghurt into a 2D artistic representation of its previous form, Superman-style…

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