ANNOUNCEMENT: New Impulsive Buy Reviewer Mark

Salutations, patrons of The Impulsive Buy!

One January, during my last semester of college, I approached a booth at a campus editing fair. (I don’t want you to have ridiculously high expectations for my writing to be perfect, so I won’t tell you I’m a professional editor. Oh—oops!) One of the girls manning the booth was one of my former classmates. She offered me some of the candy they were giving out, but then she realized it was Christmas candy, and Christmas was over, so she thought I wouldn’t eat it. She was right.

The other girl at the booth, whom I had never met, said, “Wait. Is this the guy?” Apparently my fame had spread throughout campus, or at least through the program. She had heard from another of my former classmates about me. And this is not the only time someone I’ve never met has heard about me.

See, when it comes to sweets—candy, desserts, other sugary snacks that don’t exactly fit either category, I only eat holiday-themed things.* It counts if it’s only some festive sprinkles or even just a fun wrapper, but I prefer the unique flavors that come out in abundance. Pumpkin spice. Candy cane. Red velvet. And, for some reason, Peeps.

But not only do these things have to be seasonal, it has to be the right season. So back to the university booth: my former classmate pointed out some of the Valentine’s Day candy. It was still too early, but she told me I could take some and save it. And I did just that. I took it home and ate it later that month, when the time for red and pink hearts had arrived.

If a food is not sugary, like chips or fast food, I will eat it regardless of the time of year. But even those things get bonus points if they have special turkey or cranberry flavors.

(*OK, I have a few times set out per year when I can eat whatever I want. But even then, I gravitate toward limited edition goodies.)

I was born and raised in Utah, where I’ve been basically my whole life. Don’t believe all the stereotypes. I have never once had green Jello with carrots in it. Marshmallows and fruit cocktail in Jello, yes, but never carrots. We do have fry sauce in every restaurant, though. And don’t ask me if the beer is really watered down. I’m a teetotaler, so I wouldn’t know.

I’m excited to have a valid reason to obsess over seasonal candy, now that I’m on the Impulsive Buy team. People think I’m weird for putting so much thought into junk food. But now I have found my people.

ANNOUNCEMENT: New Impulsive Buy Reviewer James

Greetings, folks. My name is James, and I’m the newest reviewer here at The Impulsive Buy. Let’s get acquainted real quick, why don’t we?

I’ve lived in the sprawling metro-Atlanta area pretty much my whole life, and ever since I was a kid, I have been utterly infatuated with junk food and fast food. Even now, I can’t put my finger on what it is about limited-time-only Twinkies and Pop-Tarts that enchants me so, but I can’t help but get strangely giddy every time I drive by the local Burger King and see posters of new products duct taped to the window. It’s like trying to explain why sunshine is nice – it just is, by golly, and I stopped asking questions a long time ago.

Anybody can find the inherent quality of – and I quote – “good food.” But to me, junk food and fast food exist as something more than culinary art or mere caloric deadweight. Unlike the hoity-toity Michelin Star bait out there, these value-priced, L-T-O consumer goods almost seem to represent small pieces of society itself, these little ephemeral slices of the times we can eat, drink, chew, dip, and periodically gargle. They are the only form of pop culture that can’t be saved on a disc and preserved for future generations to experience; while others dream about what it would’ve been like to see Led Zeppelin live circa 1973, long have I been tortured over not knowing what the Arch Deluxe and Pepsi A.M. tasted like.

With that in mind, I take this new position extraordinarily serious. Not only am I giving consumers the world over a heads up on the latest and greatest “pop-foods” out there, I’m doing my part as a gastro-historian to make sure the children of tomorrow never forget the most impermanent aspects of the culture you and I lived in.

Oh, and I’m also looking forward to getting paid to write about and take pictures of the stuff I was already eating. If that doesn’t tell you this is the greatest time to be alive in human history, I don’t know what will.

ANNOUNCEMENT: New Impulsive Buy Reviewer Sean

The best days are trips to the scoop shop. Romance is best served cold and shared with someone you love. Many of my fondest memories are created over the unifying tantalizing of the tastebuds.

What’s up?! I’m Sean E. – a 28 year old food, music, and coffee enthusiast from San Francisco, CA, and the latest addition to The Impulsive Buy staff. No, I don’t only eat ice cream, but I felt the need to lay my love out there for everyone to see. I am enthralled by all things culinary – from cooking to fine dining to The Food Network to searching for the latest super rare Hostess cake at the grocery store.

I am a firm believer that a 79 cent oatmeal cream pie can be just as alluring as a 79 dollar entree at a French bistro and feel the need to tear the walls down between fine food and fast food. As much as I would love to have a perfectly presented five course Omakase sushi dinner every night when I come home, that is simply not my reality, so I search for thrills in all parts of the food universe.

In high school I was editor-in-chief of my school’s newspaper, went on to write for my college’s paper, and then got a degree in creative writing at San Francisco State University, where I also spent a semester as poetry editor for the literary magazine TRANSFER. This was all tremendous experience for me but by the end of it I was burnt out of not only writing, but reading, and all things associated with the world of literature.

I’ve spent the last five years of my life playing bass in an alternative rock trio called RIN TIN TIGER, and will continue to do so as long as I can. Recently, my love for food and the food culture blogosphere has reinvigorated my passion for writing, and as a result I find myself before you all.

What drew me to The Impulsive Buy? An active community joined together by the thrill of the hunt; the burgeoning desire and curiosity that takes over when we see words like “limited edition” and “seasonal” and “vote”; the ability to try something in California that someone in North Dakota or Honolulu can also pick up and engage with; the interactive component of “Spotted on Shelves”; and the free flow style of the reviews.

I love established food critics but there is a separation between eater and audience that creates an instant cold reaction for the average consumer – which is everything TIB isn’t. I am excited to be accepted into this realm of hunting and snapping, tasting and sharing, and look forward to your feedback on how we all interpret the flavors and sensations of our impulsive purchases.

Let’s keep in touch!

Personal site:
Instagram: @seansskillet
Twitter: @seansskillet

ANNOUNCEMENT: New Impulsive Buy Reviewer Rachel

Finally, the fact that I spent my formative years stuffed with Chicken McNuggets and Cherry Pop-Tarts is paying off! Thanks, Mom – I couldn’t have done it without you and your complete disregard for nutrition.

I’m Rachel, and like all of you, I love junk food, fast food, novelty flavors, and limited edition foods. Originally from New York’s Hudson Valley, I currently live in Manhattan and work as a freelance television producer. As a long-time Impulsive Buy reader, I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to contribute.

Oreo cookies are my #1 obsession – 31 flavor notches in my belt so far – but Pop-Tarts, M&M’s, Hershey Kisses, potato chips, and popcorn are high on my list as well. I’m currently hoarding four boxes of Frankenberry cereal in the linen closet, and made a point of trying the infamous Kuro (Black) Burger at Burger King Tokyo. If I were trapped on a desert island with an endless supply of a single food of my choice (it could happen), it would be chicken noodle soup.

I also love re-purposing snack and dessert foods into other treats – what could possibly make chocolate chip cookies better than chopped-up Oreos? I’ve been decorating cakes for 16+ years, making everything from a Star Wars Death Star to KISS babies.

Other random obsessions of mine: Hello Kitty, 80s-90s-era heavy metal music, IKEA, Halloween (the holiday), The Golden Girls, cats, British soap operas, the 1939/1964 New York World’s Fair, the artist Shag, monster trucks, and horror movies.

My flavor wish list:

  • Maple Oreo Cookies
  • Peach Cobbler Pop-Tarts or M&M’s
  • Hello Kitty Oreo Cookies (vanilla-pomegranate flavor)
  • Savory Pop-Tarts (Roasted Garlic & Onion Jam)
  • Orange Blossom White Chocolate M&M’s

ANNOUNCEMENT: Looking for New Reviewers (2016 Edition II)

Hey! Do you love to write? Do you like junk food?

If so, then perhaps you’d like to be a reviewer for The Impulsive Buy. We are currently looking for several new contributors to write their thoughts about the latest junk food and fast food.

It’s a paid gig, but we won’t say here how much we pay per review. However, we can say it’s enough for you to have a small Panda Express feast or partially fill a wheelbarrow with store brand potato chips that are on sale.

If you’d like to apply for the position, here’s what you’ll need to send:

  • One sample review in TIB format (nutrition facts, rating, price, pros, cons, etc at the bottom). The review MUST be a new junk food or fast food product (“New” meaning within the past three months. If you’re not sure if the product you want to review is new, email me). The sample review will help us determine if your writing style would be a good fit. The sample review length MUST be no more than 400 words and no less than 300 words (not including nutrition facts, rating, price, pros, cons, etc at the bottom of TIB reviews).
  • Photo(s) of the product you reviewed. (Full resolution versions, please!)
  • A bio that includes why you want to write for The Impulsive Buy.

A Few Notes:

  • We’re not only judging you on your review, but also your photos to see your photography skills (Tip: Light will help your photos a lot.) and how you write your bio (Tip: show your personality in it).
  • Due to legal reasons, we can’t hire anyone under the age 18.
  • At this time, we’re only looking for writers located in the United States.
  • Please don’t send your review and bio as an attachment. Copy and paste them into your email. Photos should be sent as attachments.

To apply, please email your sample review, pictures, and bio to with “There ain’t nothing I won’t do to wrap my lips around a Pepsi Blue” in the subject line. We will stop accepting applicants on Sunday, November 13, 2016 at 11:59 p.m. HST.

If you have any questions, please feel free to email us.

Thank you.