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Hey kids, stop eating those Tide Pods right now … eat Pied Pods instead.
That’s the message Vinnie’s Pizzeria of Brooklyn, New York, is spreading with its newest dish: a mozzarella cheese and pepperoni-stuffed square topped with dyed cheese — to make it look like Proctor & Gamble's colorful laundry detergent pods.
“We’re concerned about the youths,” the pizzeria's original Instagram post (which has since been removed) read. “Our Pied Pods have that bright, alluring colors that youths crave BUT are 100% edible and 100% not poison... We’re hoping that Pied Pods will be a gateway food for kids to get back into actual food. Hope, not soap!”
The dish, like the challenge itself, has gone viral.
The pizza pod dish comes as the dangerous, and potentially fatal, Tide Pod Challenge has become an alarming phenomenon. People, mostly teens, are purposely ingesting the household item and posting videos documenting their soapy feats on social media.
This week, YouTube announced that it will be removing any Tide Pod Challenge videos since they violate community guidelines that prohibit content that encourages others to perform activities that might cause harm.
But some restaurants, like Vinnie’s, are using the viral trend as inspiration for new food items.
A New York bar, Duff's Brooklyn, has its very own Tide Pod shot — a detergent-themed drink that most certainly isn't for kids.
Hurts Donut Company, with shops located primarily in the Midwest, created an iced doughnut featuring bright orange and blue swirls that also mimic the design of Tide Pods after a meme on their Facebook page went viral.
“We always try to have our finger on the pulse of social media trending topics and stay relevant by having those trends reflected in our marketing approach,” Tim Clegg, CEO of Hurts, told TODAY Food. “We felt like we could provide a humorous PSA to an unfortunate trend, to show what you should eat and what you should not.”
He said shops are currently selling the doughnuts in limited supply, and individual franchises are choosing the filling. “Some are using a fruit filling such as raspberry; others are using Bavarian; still others are using a colored buttercream with sanding sugar in the center to simulate the pod itself.”
The doughnuts have gone viral, too, with thousands of shares and comments on Facebook. Clegg said the response has been great, but while many find the food trend funny, some are expressing disappointment.
One commenter pointed out, "Why fuel the flame? These have killed adults, and kids think it's funny to dare each other to eat them?... This is sad it's becoming a joke when kids and adults are getting harmed.”
Whether you’re against the Tide-themed food trend or not, one thing many people can agree on is that it’s better to eat these culinary creations instead of the detergent pods themselves.