Hot Pockets have never exactly been haute cuisine, but the product's reputation has been especially troubled these past few years. Take a moment to listen through comedian Jim Gaffigan now-famous routine, which hilariously rips them. But Nestle, which makes Hot Pockets, has just given the frozen snack a makeover -- will it be enough to change the public's perception that Hot Pockets are made with subpar ingredients and leave a person, ahem, perched atop a porcelain throne?
Nestle says the revamped Hot Pockets are stuffed with more upscale ingredients, like Angus beef, hickory ham, pepperoni, white meat chicken, and in the words of a press release, "real cheese." (We're afraid to ask what kind of cheese was in Hot Pockets before.) There are two crust options: a buttery garlic version or a crispier, croissant-like version.
"Our fans, namely millennial consumers, have high food IQs and high expectations, and because they expect more, we gave it to them," said Hot Pockets' brand director Daniel Jhung in the release. “In blind taste tests, three out of five consumers significantly preferred the new and improved Hot Pockets Pepperoni Pizza sandwiches over our prior recipes."
According to the Los Angeles Times, sales of Hot Pockets have declined over the past few years, as has revenue across the frozen sandwich category. In 2012, Nestle fired more than 100 workers at its Chatsworth, Calif. factory, where many Hot Pockets are made.
"People think frozen food is bland," Jhung told the publication. "We'd like to break that perception, to reintroduce it like something you'd make at home, just on a bigger scale."
Nestle has enlisted Food Network chef Jeff Mauro to shill for the new product, who probably won't release a Hot Pockets-themed music video like one the artist currently known as Snoop Lion did last year. It's too bad, we were entertained -- even if Snoop's lyrics don't jive with the more upscale image Hot Pockets is now going for. Here's a refresher:
Pepperoni pizza, much better than some fish eggs
The interior too hot let it cool off for a few secs
I'm running for the taste, that can be my phys ed
Chompin Hot Pockets, that's how you get ahizzead
Poetry, just poetry. Take a look at some of the revamped Hot Pockets products below.