REVIEW: Great Value Tropickles

Great Value Tropickles

I’ve long believed in the old marketing axiom that there’s no such thing as a bad idea, only bad execution. Even a relatively unimpressive or unappetizing product can become a must-buy depending on how well it’s presented to the public. For example, I don’t think anybody genuinely enjoyed Orbitz soda, but everybody alive in the late 1990s at least gave it a try and still remember it vividly to this day.

Walmart’s proprietary Tropickles, on the other hand, is the epitome of a badly executed novelty food. Instead of coming off as kooky and kitschy the product looks, smells, and tastes trashy and tawdry. Superficially and suprafacially, it’s one of the worst things I’ve ever put in my mouth; it’s so bad, the only word I can think to describe it is execrable.

Everything about this product is hideous. The packaging is ultra-generic and the sight of swampy vegetables floating up and down in pinkish-red fluid is stomach-churning. And as soon as you pry off the lid, things get really nauseating.

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There’s nothing particularly offensive about fruit punch, even the low-tier, store brand stuff. There’s also nothing particularly offensive about canned pickles (unless, of course, you have a strong aversion to tart foods.)

Alas, when you force the two to co-habitate in the same glass jar, the chemical reaction is repugnant. The combination of lukewarm sugar water, wilting cucumbers and a ton of vinegar results in a scent comparable to rotten produce doused in Kool-Aid, this sickly sweet odor that keeps alternating between hummingbird nectar and a compost heap.

Then there are the visuals. There’s no genteel way to put it – the pickles look like bloody turds. Did any of you kids ever see that great B-horror movie from the 1980s called Slugs? Well, if you haven’t, the Tropickles are exactly what the monsters in that flick resembled. Come to think of it, maybe Walmart should’ve saved these things for Halloween and rebranded them as pickled snakes in elf blood or something – at least then they could’ve promoted it as intentionally disgusting.

As bad as the scent is and as bad as the pickles look, though, the taste is even worse. You get sporadic moments of watered-down sweetness and you get occasional bursts of traditional dill pickle flavor, but for the most part all your taste buds can detect is pure ick.

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The fruit punch juice makes the pickles mushier and more acidic than normal, and the goulash of vinegar and sugar water taints them with a rubbery bitterness. Really, it doesn’t even taste like food after a couple of bites; if you want to simulate the flavor, aroma and even mouthfeel of Tropickles, find a menthol cigarette chain smoker and ask them to cram their tongue down your esophagus.

All in all, these Tropickles might be the worst thing I’ve ever eaten that wasn’t sold at Dollar Tree. Remember earlier when I said there’s no such thing as a “bad idea” when it comes to gimmick foods? Well, scratch that – “putting pickles in fruit punch” is about as bad as it gets.

(Nutrition Facts – 3/4 a spear – 25 calories, 0 calories from fat, 0 grams of total fat, 0 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 mg of cholesterol, 260 mg of sodium, 6 grams of total carbs, 0 grams of fiber, 6 grams of sugar, 0 grams of protein.)

Purchased Price: $1.78
Size: 24 oz. jar
Purchased at: Walmart
Rating: 1 out of 10
Pros: If you’re mugged in the parking lot, the jar makes a great impromptu bludgeoning weapon. The bottle is probably heavy enough to keep a small door open.
Cons: …literally everything else.

19 thoughts to “REVIEW: Great Value Tropickles”

  1. I think fruit punch was a bad idea. If they went with lemonade route it would might been better. Since lemon is acidic and sugar is to added to sweeten up. It could work.

  2. C’mon now, James, don’t show such disrespect for Dollar Tree food by comparing it to fruit punch flavored pickles.

  3. Thank you, thank you, thank you for giving me a great idea for all of those silly “White Elephant” holiday gift exchanges!! These are hilariously hideous.

    1. That is freaking hilarious! Imagine the shock of horror overtake someone’s face as they unwrap their white elephant gift hoping to at least get something decent only to ‘win’ this instead. Ahahahahaha.

  4. I had Kool-Aid pickles at a fair once but they were cherry. I think fruit punch might be TOO sweet to work. That said, I have notoriously trashy taste and would still try these if I saw ’em. Hell, they’re cheap!

  5. This review is hilarious, and i especially love the shoutout to Slugs. Watched that movie when I was a mere lad and it actually gave me nightmares, which is funny to think back upon now. But nothing seems more frightening than fruit punch soaked pickles….

  6. Ouch! I tried them myself and I didn’t quite get the same flavor you got I don’t think. I was hoping these would taste like the pickle concoctions we all sucked down in elementary but it didn’t taste like a pickle to me while kinda ruined it. But at least it wasn’t an expensive try…

  7. If you have such a vivid memory of Orbitz you might recall that it wasn’t a soda :p

    Orbitz was awesome! How dare you blaspheme that sacred nectar!

    BTW If anyone is reading this and loved Orbitz, you should try some bubble milk tea with boba. Taro is best! Hard to find, but you can order boba and powder online!

  8. It would be nice if you gave an actual culinary-centric review of these instead of just throwing a bunch of adjectives around. Also, why didn’t you eat them cold? Did a 3rd grader write this?

  9. You know, I’ve thought about this review for a while now since I first read it, and have to say, it really rubs me the wrong way.

    Kool-aid pickles are a culture-based food concoction from the deep south of the U.S.A.. The reviewer either has no knowledge of this OR knew it and didn’t care, instead choosing to write an incredibly dismissive and ignorant review that borders on being classist.

    I think it is similar to the same kind of reviews that try items like the century egg for the supposed “weird” factor. It reads like this person thinks they are some brave explorer delving into something hilariously bizarre, as thought this creation hadn’t already been around for a long time.

    Which also brings up another issue: anyone who has every had a kool aid pickle before is helped 0% by this review. The reviewer has no basis of comparison here to tell the actually quality of the product since the are completely unfamiliar with the food it’s trying to replicate- instead they react like anyone (very immature) would react when trying a new and unusual food: ooh weird and icky! Ha ha!

    This is just a bad review.

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