Wal-Mart "Genuine Steakhouse Brand Steaks" Are "100% Guaranteed Fresh" (Some Restrictions Apply)

Reader Richie would like to point out the impressive pointlessness of this Wal-Mart promotion for “Genuine SteakHouse Steak.”

So the brand name is “Genuine Steakhouse,” therefore they are Genuine Steakhouse Steaks. This does not mean anything. They are not “genuine” anything, nor are they coming from a “steakhouse,” except for, I guess the slaughterhouse, which is a house where steaks come from. The next sentence, “100% freshness guaranteed or your money back” is also pretty lean on meaning. One would hope that spoiled, past-due meat would not be sold in the first place and I think it’s safe to say that, should that meat accidentally get sold, it would certainly be accepted for a refund. Then again, I don’t know much about Wal-Mart, so maybe they are always selling rotten meat and not giving you money back for it. Who’s to say.

What they have cleverly done here is put a bunch of connotation-rich words near each other, in a construction that prevents the words from having any kind of actual meaning that might make it incumbent upon the company to provide anything even slightly out of the ordinary. Genuine Steakhouse…100% guaranteed…money back. A casual gloss could easily give you the false impression that they are somehow guaranteeing that this meat has a certain level of quality, or comes from a specific steakhouse, or something like that. In fact, they are just announcing the fact that they are putting a trademarked brand name on run-of-the-mill USDA-whatever meat, and then guaranteeing that they won’t sell it once it putrefies.

Oh, Richie, this is what happens when you think about Wal-Mart too much. It’s bad for your health. Speaking of bad for your health, if you click on over to the SteakHouse Steaks page at Walmart.com, you’ll see that concerning the “100% guaranteed fresh” bit…“*Restrictions apply. Please see store for details.”

Eek.

Meaningless, You Mean It’s All Been Meaningless [I Feel Crazy]
Wal-Mart Steaks

Comments

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  1. blah blah blah…why would anybody shop at Wal-Mart?
    blah blah blah.

    Sorry, had to get the obligatory phrase out of the way.

  2. MissPeacock says:

    Isn’t this really what all advertisements do?

  3. smirky says:

    @Terd_Ferguson: Seconded.

  4. Jon Mason says:

    oh noes – someone named a brand a certain way in order to make it sound appealing!!!

    Publix has house brands slightly better than their cheapest stuff called “private selection”, you mean to tell me that they are neither specially selected nor private?

    Kind of reminds me of Elf’s “best cup of coffee in the world!” gag – anyone with half a brain can see the difference between a genuine claim and BS branding/marketing…

  5. I don’t mean to sound harsh, but this is new how?

    Advertisers, and stores have been doing this for years.

  6. Gopher bond says:

    Puffery!

    See, I remembered something from school.

  7. Shaftoe says:

    Who wants fresh meat anyway. The good stuff is corn fed and Aged something like 28 days.

    Though I am brought to mind of an old satirical Grocery store Flyer from National lampoon that claimed to have “Sun Drenched Beef”

  8. thesabre says:

    It’s a BRAND NAME. Who cares? My Keebler E.L. Fudge Cookies aren’t made by real elves either. I also saw a girl working at Pep Boys who had very little pep in her step. I had some trouble finding circuits at Circuit City so I went to Best Buy instead. But they weren’t the best buy because Radio Shack sold them for less. But they didn’t have radios and it didn’t look like much of a shack, to be honest.

    So their brand name is Genuine Steakhouse. What’s wrong with that?

  9. maybe it’s like…bologna steaks

  10. pegr says:

    Um, so what restrictions apply? I have to know!

  11. muffinpan says:

    @ thesabre: Nobody said there was anything wrong with it. They only said the guarentee was a buch of BS. Wow, way to miss the point.

  12. snoop-blog says:

    The Wal-mart in my town actually has really good cuts of meat. It’s kinda an agreed opinion from everyone who lives here that there’s really only one or two more places in town that have better cuts, and of course higher prices. The town I live in is pretty big also. probably at least 50 different places to buy meat from. All the way from meat markets, to grocery stores.

  13. Gopher bond says:

    @muffinpan: Why is the guarantee a bunch of BS. I bet if I brought back the steak and said it wasn’t full of freshness, they’d let me exchange it or give me my money back.

  14. Gopher bond says:

    @thesabre: “My Keebler E.L. Fudge Cookies aren’t made by real elves either.”

    What?!? Since when? Did they outsource them to the dirty leprechauns?

  15. Bagels says:

    It’s called “genuine steakhouse” because it’s injected with a solution of up to 15% “steakhouse goodness”

  16. Life_Sandwich says:

    Slow complaint day at Gawker, eh?

  17. muffinpan says:

    @ testicles: You too. Oh man. look it’s a bunch of BS words strung together. If the guarentee wasn’t there they would still take it back. Ya see now.
    Oy Vey when will it end.

  18. Gopher bond says:

    @muffinpan: Then it’s redundant, not a bunch of BS. There’s a difference.

  19. opsomath says:

    I am quite sure there are worse consumer issues out there to worry about.

  20. akirarat says:

    I don’t understand what is 100% freshness if you’re not biting into a live cow.

  21. backbroken says:

    This reminds me of the latest Pizza Hut campaign. Has anyone seen the commercials for Pizza Hut’s new pasta trays? They actually advertise them as “restaurant quality”.

    Um. Hey Pizza Hut…aren’t you a restaurant? I guess what you are really trying to say is, “Please try the pasta. It will exceed your justifiably low expectations!”

    Cracks me up everytime I see one of those commercials.

  22. muffinpan says:

    @testicles: Ok, it’s redundant BS, But BS just the same.

  23. Wormfather says:

    Ya know, I think I’m going to go to wal-mart today and buy one of these things with my bank of america card. First I have to go shopping for car before I eat. I wonder if I can get my car loan as an ARM?

  24. Wormfather says:

    @Wormfather: I know, I know, as soon as I hit the submit button, I realized I was doing it wrong.

  25. IrisMR says:

    It’s like the fat free vegetables I bought someday.

  26. CaptZ says:

    I can get a good look at a T-bone by sticking my head up a bull’s ass, but I’d rather take a butcher’s word for it.

    Sorry….couldn’t help myself!

  27. RINO-Marty says:

    @MissPeacock: I don’t think so. I do think this crosses a line between marketing spin and pure BS.

    The Princeton philosopher HG Frankfurt wrote a somewhat famous book recently called “On Bullshit” where he described the differences between lies, spin, and BS. His position is that BS is worse than a lie, because liars care whether they’re lying, whereas BSers don’t care.

    What Walmart is doing is taking pure nothingness – words without meaning, and the OP wisely detected – and trying to make money off it. It’s pure BS. It doesn’t even rise to the level of a lie. Walmart’s “guarantee” has nothing to do with freshness (it’s already against regulations and common sense to sell rotten meat) or steakhouses, and the guarantee only says that faulty products may be returned, which is already the case. So it means absolutely nothing. Pure BS. Good call.

  28. Dakine says:

    Being in advertising myself, I can’t really see anything wrong with this. This is how it’s done, pretty much for any company or product. You wouldn’t call your meat company “Rancid Cuts O’ E-Coli” would you? Of course not.

    This hasn’t been going on for years, it’s been going on since the birth of advertising, whenever that was. Somewhere way back when, a caveman was probably trading a rock for a dead bird and said, “Ugh… good rock for bashing rhino skull. Much edge sharpness. You take now or I kill you with it.” while showing him the cave wall schematic carving of the rock’s properties. And advertising was born. (that’s really more of a high-pressure sales pitch, but you get the idea.)

    They advertise alcohol ALWAYS as being the fun, awesome life you “deserve”, but never show homeless alcoholics puking in the gutter. Because that probably isn’t the image that will get you to buy.

    Any product, any company. Wal-mart is evil, but they’re no exception to the rule.

  29. RINO-Marty says:

    @thesabre: Nope – it’s a guarantee, not a brand. It may be a brand, too, but legally and linguistically we all know the difference between a brand name and a guarantee. Well, almost all of us.

  30. InThrees says:

    @Terd_Ferguson:

    I keep meaning to go to Walmart on a day when there is likely to be a receipt checker (if my local box practices, that is) and be ‘that guy’.

  31. Bladefist says:

    I actually was thinking the same crap as the OP. I was standing there at walmart, looking at the newest steaks they have, and thought wow, this is the worst shit in the world. I refuse to buy meat at walmart now. It’s USDA Choice meat, its over priced, and the cuts were terrible.

    No Thank you.

  32. TPS Reporter says:

    Like the car priced at under 10K, it only $9999.00.

  33. Dakine says:

    What about every hosting company on Earth advertising “99.9% uptime!”

    That is such a crock… not ONE of them has ever lived up to it, because it’s impossible.

  34. tsdguy says:

    You should check on these products. Many of the beef products sold in the deep rigid packaging are filled with carbon monoxide (CO). The keeps the red color longer – possibly even past spoilage.

    The only place I’ve seen this on primal cuts of beef (steak, etc) is in Walmart. All of the other local stores have either vacuum packaging or poly wrapped tray packaging.

  35. Bladefist says:

    @Dakine: Yes they can. Thats like 45 mins of downtime a month. Thats not too hard.

  36. timsgm1418 says:

    @thesabre: the commercials show they are indeed made by elves, are you telling me I can’t believe the commercials either? damn advertising, damn

  37. humorbot says:

    No way really? Welcome to Advertising 101. I’m impressed that OP Richie actually took the time to write that email. No doubt that took more time than coming up with “Genuine Steakhouse Brand.”

  38. magic8ball says:

    @CaptZ: Yay Tommy Boy! And to the OP, nice rhetorical analysis. BS annoys me too.

  39. BStu says:

    I’m sorry, but I’m just not seeing the there there. He’s fussing of the words “Genuine” and “Steakhouse” but he’s ignoring the word “BRAND” that comes right after them. Its a brand name. That’s how brand names work. They inspire associations. They are promises or guarantees. Its Marketing 101 and forgive me if I can’t get worked up every time a company practices basic marketing. Seriously, this is the same thing they were doing when Philadelphia Brand Cream Cheese got its name in 1880. They had the decency to slap “BRAND” right there on the name, so its not even like its that deceptive.

    The only issue I’m seeing is Consumerist’s find on the website where the 100% Guaranteed Fresh is limited with unspecified restrictions. THAT I’d have a problem with, as that’s no brand name and I don’t understand how something can be 100% guaranteed and yet not. The brand is just that. Even if Richie doesn’t like their brand name, its still just a brand name. Having restrictions apply to a 100% Guarantee, however, defies the laws of mathematics.

  40. Dakine says:

    @Bladefist:

    Mine was down for an hour just today.

  41. MrPaulAR says:

    I’ve seen a cheese brand that has the name “Real”. I assume it’s a brand as
    the word “Real” has the little trademark symbol.

    The package labeling is something along the lines of “Made with 100%
    Real(tm) cheese.”

  42. Shaftoe says:

    Get it “Sun Drenched Beef”…..TAP….TAP…Is this thing on?

  43. Bladefist says:

    @Dakine: Then you need to be calling your host and telling them its over the 99.9 guaruntee and ask for that month refund. When my host goes down, I write down times and I’m on their ass.

  44. Bladefist says:

    @Dakine: And I’m always successful in getting a credit. Depending on how long it was down.

  45. snoop-blog says:

    Lets think about this guys. The sheer scale of how much meat wal-mart sells is extreme. They can’t physically inspect every peice of meat they buy, and I’m a thousand percent sure Wal-Mart buys its meat from many many places. Anyone who bought as much meat as Wal-Mart does, would be bound to get bad cuts, just the same, they would be bound to get good cuts also. If you’re not on a budget when it comes to meat, you would most certainly find better (higher priced) meat elswhere. Apparently, contrary to popular opinion on here, there is an obvious market for their meat, not to mention the rest of wal-marts products, otherwise they wouldn’t be in business.

    I don’t think I ever heard Wal-Mart, or any associates of, ever claim to have top choice meats. Nor do I think anyone would expect them to. It’s Wal-mart, it is what it is. The choice to shop there is just that, a choice.

  46. Snarkysnake says:

    @thesabre:

    I have to agree. I put a ham radio in the oven last week and it tasted like SHIT.

  47. nedzeppelin says:

    @BStu: maybe the 100% guarantee applies to the restrictions,and not the other way around

    surely you could provide a 100% freshness guarantee, subject to the freshness only applying within 10 days of buying it right?

  48. renilyn says:

    @CaptZ: Wow… what movie was that from? Tommy Boy???

  49. renilyn says:

    @magic8ball: Oh geeze, hadn’t got that far! Schnikes!

  50. Nytmare says:

    @opsomath: Perhaps you would prefer only the most terrible and far-reaching of issues ever be posted on this site. Well too bad.

  51. BStu says:

    @nedzeppelin: If there are any meaningful restriction, then its not a 100% guarantee. Which is fine. Had they said “Freshness guaranteed! (Some restrictions apply)”, I’d have seen no problem. THEY added the 100% while also qualifying it in fine print. If it is for what you suggest, then frankly their lawyers are being too disclaimer happy because it should be understood that there are some rules. But again, the problem might be that 100%. So why not just remove it if you can’t live up to it?

  52. snoop-blog says:

    This is why I’m all for cloned meat. If we cloned only the best cows, it should be far cheaper for that top choice meat. Plus, outback and others couldn’t charge two arms and a leg for the exact same steak you could buy at Denny’s for $9. And if you don’t understand this comment, or anything about the advantages of cloned meat, or the reasons why advocates are pushing for it, Please don’t respond.

  53. bohemian says:

    Blech. This sounds like the junk Hyvee was trying to pass off as some sort of premium beef. They took regular bulk beef from Swift & co. Packaged it in black co2 injected trays and gave it an equally meaningless branding about it being some steakhouse premium something. The signage pointed to the deep red color as a sign it was premium beef. Never mind it is bright red because of the co2. I think they finally quit carrying it and went back to regular co2 packed meat.

  54. Booji_Boy says:

    As for the “guaranteed fresh” I believe they mean Fresh as opposed to previously frozen, not fresh as opposed to rotten.

  55. CaptZ says:

    Because they know all they sold ya was a guaranteed piece of shit. That’s all it is, isn’t it? Hey, if you want me to take a dump in a box and mark it guaranteed, I will. I got spare time.

    One more in memory of Chris Farley……FTW!

    This all Walmart is doing……

  56. floyderdc says:

    @backbroken:

    Or how they make like they fooled New York food critics. Yea a person that has made their life’s work food, will not know the diffrence between fancy-schmacny NYC italian-restraunt pasta from the Hut . Right.

  57. BlackFlag55 says:

    Define “is”.

    Dear Lord in heaven, why would anyone eat “meat” from Wal Mart? There hasn’t been any real beef in a Wal Mart since they were founded.

  58. sonicanatidae says:

    “back in the day”, my folks purchased an 8-track Stereo from JCPenny. The speakers had these tiny little labels at the bottom of each, on the outside that read:
    “Genuine simulated woodgrain vinal”.
    Those exact words, I’ll never forget it. Talk about a mouthful of nothing. WOW!.. GENUINE SIMULATED woodgrain vinyl?!?!?!.. how could you pass that up? That was in the late 70s my friends, so this has been going on for a loooooong time…

  59. @MissPeacock:

    Yep.

    My widgets are better that your widgets yet both widgets come from the same assembly line at the widget factory.

    I read the WallyWorld ad as my cow is better than your cow. Big Whoop.

  60. The Bigger Unit says:

    @Terd_Ferguson: @smirky: Because not everyone can afford organic, Farmer’s Market food you imbeciles.

  61. Doug Nelson says:

    My little popup dictionary defines “steakhouse” as a restaurant that serves steaks. Is there a difference in restaurant-grade steaks and consumer-grade steaks? If there is, could be a lawsuit here.

  62. Chongo says:

    one thing to keep in mind is that alot of these products get produced from the same place. They are just sold to different companies who slap their own labels on things and charge whatever they want.

  63. AMetamorphosis says:

    NEWSPEAK
    DOUBLEPLUSUNGOOD

  64. AMetamorphosis says:

    @sonicanatidae:

    That one cracks me up almost as much as plastic leather :-)

  65. VG10 says:

    The question I want answered is if you guy the “Guaranteed Steaks” do you have to show your receipt at the door or will you be arrested on site?

  66. AMetamorphosis says:

    @VG10:

    No need to show your receipt now that Walmart has embedded your premium beef with edible RFID chips :-)

  67. ScarletsWalk says:

    I admit I do shop at walmart, but I won’t buy any meats or other perishables. God knows if they’re properly handled.

  68. ct_price says:

    All I have to say is that I *hate* the term ‘handcut.’ Marketers take note…I hate you for inventing this term. It does not add anything to flavor, quality, or taste if it is handled by hands during the cutting process.

    Handcut onion rings? Who gives an elf?

    Now if it was feetcut that would be something altogether new and interesting.

    I hate the word ‘bistro’ as well. Cuisine is also chafing me raw these days.

    @ScarletsWalk: what are you talking about? I love finding a family pack of pork chops hanging out in the sock bin, waiting for inventory clerk to find it and put it back on the shelf. I get all my E. Coli/listeria/salmonella at WM.

  69. wildness says:

    In my town, not one of the steakhouses makes a steak half a well as what I make at home buying quality meat NOT FROM MALL-WART!!!!

  70. Dakine says:

    You people should be grateful. I live on the most remote island chain on the planet. Any beef we get here is guaranteed to have come off a ship that’s been at least ten days on the ocean. Factor in all of the other transit time, getting it to the docks, etc…. we got some pretty old beef.

    Or if you go to a really nice restaurant, it’s flown in and you pay $250 for dinner.

  71. CPC24 says:

    FYI, they changed to this new brand a few months back. I was skeptical, but tried it and it’s pretty good. It’s all Tyson, actually. Their pork and chicken usually is too. I don’t think they use carbon monoxide because it does turn brown after a few days.

  72. timmus says:

    Tyson is a factory farm giant… no thanks.

  73. Doug81 says:

    @Dakine: It’s not impossible. The 40 something minutes of downtime allowed per month adds up. Sure, they may not meet their goal all of the time for some circumstances and users but that’s where your 99.9% guarantee comes in. With enough redundancy though they should be able to at least offer 99.9% uptime and come through.

  74. samson says:

    I look at that sign at Walmart every time and think ” Oh Walmart must have premium beef and I should buy some ” this article points out the obvious that I failed to register. I saw the presentation and it had the exact effect it was supposed to have. The display and words short circuit your concious mind and you think something like walmart has better stuff now. The advertising had the exact effect on me it was designed to do.

    I read the article and it reminds me of the insidious nature of advertising as it infects every sector of my life. In order to combat it a person would have to go Adbusters and no logo everything in the house. Since I have work and family I don’t have alot of spare time to combat the amount of persuasion I have to process. The very reason I read the consumerist is because corporations are designed soley to make money and not designed to promote independent thinking.

    Fer some rasan I’d not good at the reasning. I’d let the prezerdent der my thinkng fer me.

    I really need to insert bad snarky comments? Nah, Nah I have a clever turn of phrase that is not funny .

    The funniest comment I read was comparing asking an employee in a big box store for something is the same as asking a homeless person about an arm. I still laugh about that.

    We are now consumers instead of citizens.

  75. Snullbug says:

    Aren’t 100% fresh steaks still attached to a living cow? Surely by the time the beef is cut up, packaged, shipped to Wally, and put on the shelf it must be down to at least 99% fresh.

  76. HurfDurf says:

    I would hope that Walmart is the last place you choose to buy beef, or really, any kind of perishable items.
    I got a good laugh out of these commercials when they came out and an even bigger laugh at this spot-on write up.

    There’s a butcher in every town, so if you really want some nice cuts that are guaranteed to be fresh, I suggest going that route.

  77. Dobernala says:

    The beef was probably subjected to hormones and antibiotics. I’ll stick to the stuff at Whole Foods market.

  78. theBIG says:

    To quote Tommy Boy:

    “I can take a dump in a box and mark it guaranteed, I got spare time.”

  79. WTRickman says:

    {coffeetalk}

    Talk amongst yourselves….

    I’ll give you a topic:

    Wal-Mart Genuine Steakhouse Brand Stakes are neither Genuine, nor Steakhouse…

    Discuss…

    {/coffeetalk}

  80. strathmeyer says:

    @thesabre: “So their brand name is Genuine Steakhouse. What’s wrong with that?”

    Lying to people is wrong? Especially when advertising a product?

  81. Anonymous says:

    Walmart steaks are soaked in brine. Read the label. That’s why they taste like sausage, jerky, or corned beef. The fancy Steak House label is a label, period. There’s nothing fresh about brine soaked meat.