Heinz Christmas dinner (Image: Jonathan Kennedy/Heinz/PA)

The annual holiday season has become a time for food marketers to try to out-clever one another. One year it’s a line of soda pops that mimic all the flavors of Thanksgiving dinner such as Turkey & Gravy, Mashed Potato & Butter, and Green Bean Casserole. The next it’s candy corn engineered to taste like roast turkey, ginger-glazed carrot, and sweet potato pie.

These offerings are meant as gimmicks and are obviously intended to generate a laugh or two. But this year’s novelty evokes grim reminders of last year’s Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners, which in many households were canceled or attenuated out of fears of COVID. Heinz has come out with a Christmas Dinner soup. Part of the company’s line of “Big Soups,” the product is advertised as containing “big chunks” of turkey, pigs in blankets, Brussels sprouts, stuffing balls, potatoes and gravy, and cranberry sauce. This is how Christmas dinner would sound if Charles Ives had composed it.

The intentions behind the soup are clearly positive. With grocery shelves so empty and the threat of more shipping shortages to come this holiday season, Heinz is hoping to fill a void. But there’s no getting around the simple fact that the thought of heating up a can of soup for Christmas is just plain sad.

Should you be interested in purchasing a can, you can order here.

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