November 07, 2013

Smart Chopper: Old Gold?

New Name: Fresh Mex Express
Current Marketer: Ontel
Original Hit Year: 1999 (No. 39 on the JW Annual)
Original Marketer: Telebrands
Prediction: On the fence

(Editor's Note: This post has been updated with the correct historical information.)

Jon Nokes, Bill McAlister, Anthony Sullivan and Telebrands joined forces to make this product a hit in 1999 under the name Smart Chopper (here's a picture). Several versions of it have been tried since then without success. In fact, this is Ontel's third attempt to resurrect the idea.

The first two attempts were the Kitchen King Pro in 2008 and the Triple Chopper in 2009. Both were also done by Anthony Sullivan. National Express tried with the Vidalia Chop It -- starring the late, great Billy Mays -- as well.

So why am I on the fence? Because I really like the marketing ideas on display in this commercial. Salsa is too narrow and too common in the modern era. A manual food processor like Kitchen King Pro is too broad. This one finds the perfect middle ground and stars the ultra-likable David Jones. I think that could be a winning combination.

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