Snacks on snacks on snacks: Snack naming at the Island Pacific Supermarket

By Ben Weis
August 27, 2019
Reading Time: 4 minutes
Filed under Medium, Popular

This weekend I had the pleasure of visiting the Island Pacific Supermarket in Vallejo, California. For the uninitiated, the Island Pacific Supermarket in Vallejo is a supermarket featuring foods from the Philippines. 

I entered the store looking for snacks as I had spent most of the day performing manual labor and was wanting to snack off into the sunset.

As a professional namer, the naming portion of my brain is always on. So naturally I was interested in what kinds of snack names the Philippines has to offer. Perhaps unsurprisingly, there are plenty of great, terrible, and odd names in the fifth aisle of the Island Pacific Supermarket, because when names appear to be in english and but really aren’t for an english-speaking audience — interesting language is born.

Here’s what I found:

Ding Dong
A doubly whammy insult and onomatopoeia, Ding Dong makes me laugh every time I see it. Bonus points for the elf on a mushroom.

Nuts Entertainment
When descriptive naming crosses an ocean, funny things can happen, like Nuts Entertainment — for when your guests are nuts, or maybe you are and now you’re  scaring your guests. GTFO guests.

Boy Bawang Cornick
Sounds like a sidekick who’s made of corn and makes a lot of fight sounds when he tries to kick evildoers. BAWANG!

Cupp Keyk
This one made me laugh pretty good. It sounds like a Canadian impersonating a Scot impersonating a Texan who is saying cupcake.

Sounds like a cowboy trying to calm a horse: “Alllright buah, who’s a good buah?”

Cool story, Hansel. These cream-filled biscuits are stuck somewhere in 1977 or Zoolander.

Chiz Curls
I don’t want to have anything to do with anything related to chiz, though I did find more products with “chiz” in the name, seemingly indicating the presence of some type of cheese. If there are any Filipino’s or Filipino-Americans who have info on “chiz” I’d love to know more.

OK, I’m hungry and want to check out. Time for a lightning round:

The joy of pe is not for everyone.

Something about the “-u” ending makes it funny and therefore kind of a good name.

A hard pass.

Sometimes you just wanna get loaded on salt, fat, and preservatives.

Don’t touch my ladyfingers, bro.

Bing Bing
Why not, it’s kind of funny and cute.

I didn’t know he was in the snack game. I’ll pass.

OK, I’ve left the aisle and checked out. I got two packages of Ding Dongs (for a friend who can’t seem to stop saying ding dong, probably because it’s solid lightweight insult), a package of Mr. Chips spaghetti and hot dog flavored chips because we learned that Filipino spaghetti is a thing and it looks quite good, and some Oishi brand Pillows in Ube flavor — which were the best thing we bought. Only one naming-related decision. Not bad.

Thanks for joining me in the snack aisle. See you around.