So, you didn’t win the LifeSavers sweepstakes that would have sent you to Hawaii to celebrate New Year’s. And you don’t feel like shelling out $1,000 to see 15-minute performances from Sting and Aretha Franklin in the drafty old Javits Convention Center in New York City (or freeze while jamming yourself into Times Square to watch the newly bejeweled ball drop).
What to do? Throw your own party, and have it catered (indirectly) by the numerous food and beverage manufacturers who’ve taken the occasion to repackage their products with a millennial theme. The menu won’t exactly get a belch out of a gourmand, but it should certainly fill a few revelers’ bellies.
Warner Bros. has compiled a holiday smorgasbord on its own by getting Kraft Foods, Mott’s, J.M. Smucker, and Act II Popcorn to repackage themselves for the entertainment company’s Mil-Looney-Um celebration (see main story). Use them as the hors d’oeuvres. And you can free yourself from hours of kitchen drudgery by serving a six-foot sandwich from Subway Restaurants (another Warner Bros. partner) as the main course.
Next, break out the Spaghetti’s. Not for more eating, but for fun. Camden, NJ-based Franco-American has plunked pasta shaped like the number 2 into 20 million cans of Spaghetti’s. Hand each guest a can and let them check the labels to see if anybody wins one of the $2,000 cash prizes Franco-American is offering. Then, see who can sing the most unique rendition of the “Uh Oh, Spaghetti’s” jingle (emulating a contest the brand held at Warner Bros. Studios last month).
Finally, pass out the can openers and start the stopwatch: The guest who can spell out 2000 in pasta the most times wins a prize. For the award, may we suggest Millennium Ballotin, a 12-lb box of sweets that New York City-based Godiva Chocolatier is selling. Be sure your guests know you spent $375 on the limited-edition confections.
Time to put the kids to bed and break out the booze. Anheuser-Busch of St. Louis’s Budweiser brand shipped two million bottles and cans featuring a turn-of-the-century look (the 19th-to-20th, that is), so you should be able to get your hands on a few dozen. Hard-core imbibers may opt for 1800 Single Barrel Millennium Tequila from United Distillers and Vintners, Stamford, CT. This may be harder to come by, since only about 58,000 bottles were designated for the U.S. market. And, of course, you’ve got some Korbel Champagne from Brown-Forman, Louisville, chilling for the big moment.
Don’t forget the responsible drivers and teetotalers in the group. White Plains, NY-based Triarc Beverages’ Snapple unit is offering Final Fruit Fireworks, a blend of six fruit flavors in a 16-ounce glass bottle with a full wrap. Label copy bills the commemorative concoction as “The Last 20th Century Drink.”
But here’s to many more in the next century.