Fishy Orgasms

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"Parents coax their children with toys, stuffed animals, pacifiers, blankets. But more and more, the TV remote control is becoming the big motivator," says Wendy Sinicki, a spokeswoman for the Fremont, Mich., Chamber of Commerce, one of the festival's sponsors.

The folks in Freemont think they know a thing or two about raising babies. The city is the home of the Gerber Products Co. Festival organizers are even expounding this year on a barbecue sauce recipe made from plum baby food.

"Kids always want what their mommy and daddy are holding, and usually they're not allowed to touch the TV remote," says Sinicki. "So when they see it waved in front of them, they go nuts."

Interestingly, not too many kids seem to be racing toward a jar of strained peas.

Purple Ketchup

You know that delightful stage in life when children seem to exist purely to disgust their parents? Well, the folks at A. J. Heinz Co. are ready to capitalize on that — with a new brand of purple ketchup.

"This could be the next gross-out sensation. It could be like gummy worms," says Pat Verlodt, former president of the Color Marketing Group in Virginia. "The more it makes their parents retch, the more they want it."

The folks at Heinz seem to know the value of appealing to the parent gross-out factor. The company claims that kids consume about 55 percent of all ketchup. Last year the company introduced green EZ Squirt ketchup, and the product sold 10 million units in its first seven months on supermarket shelves.

Slathering burgers and fries in purple tomato concoction should be even more disgusting, and more successful. Heinz kind of sees it that way, too, only folks there are dressing the strategy in corporate niceties.

"We want to give kids a way to have interactive fun at mealtimes," said Kelly Stitt, EZ Squirt senior brand manager.

Well dip me in Grey Poupon and feed me to some baby seals. I'm just a little too old for Day-Glo condiments at my barbecue. Nevertheless, the newfangled purble stuff is already being shipped out, and by Labor Day, your kids will be able to express themselves on a whole new level when they play with their food.