On April 29, Starbucks will add a brand new beverage to its menu: The Oprah Chai. Oprah designed this Teavana tea with Starbucks CEO, Howard Schultz and Teavana teaologist, Naoko Tsunoda. She created this drink in order to benefit the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy Foundation, which provides educational opportunities to children. The black tea is infused with cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, cloves, and rooibos; Starbucks will serve the unique blend as both a loose leaf tea and a latte.
Oprah isn’t the first celebrity to put her name on a food product, though. Several other stars have branded beverages and edibles for themselves in order to increase their publicity, scope and bank accounts. The celebrity foods have had varying amounts of success; with Starbucks backing her, let’s hope Oprah Chai sells better than some of the following products. Here’s the top 10 most interesting celebrity food pairings of the past and present.
10) Danny DeVito’s Limoncello
Danny DeVito created a signature limoncello in honor of his Italian heritage and love of drink. It all started in 2006, when DeVito appeared on The View still intoxicated from a night of drinking with his friend George Clooney. After admitting he had a few too many glasses of limoncello the night before, DeVito and the sweet Italian liquor became synonymous with one another.
DeVito jumped on this new notion to create his own brand of limoncello. At $25 a pop, the sleek black bottle featured a scratch and sniff label and DeVito’s signature. The 60 proof Italian liquor got good reviews with its sweet syrupy lemon flavor. It even had a catchy jingle sung by DeVito himself; look it up on YouTube and it’ll be stuck in your head in no time.
9) Conjure Cognac by Ludacris
Speaking of celebrity alcohol, rapper Ludacris also took a stab at designing his own line of his favorite liquor. Ludacris worked with fourth generation cognac producer, Birkedal Hartmann, to create Conjure Cognac. The cognac is made with grapes from Cognac, France and is aged in oak barrels. The result has notes of vanilla, spice, toffee, and apricot.
In 2011, Ludacris told Hip Hop Weekly he wasn’t at all surprised by how successful Conjure was in its first year. He said, “I knew the product would speak for itself. I wanted to come out with a product that was close to Louis XIII but at a more affordable price. Its proven its worth and it stands on itself, apart from who I am.”
8) Olympia Dukakis Greek Salad Dressing
Academy award winning actress Olympia Dukakis, known for classic movies like Steel Magnolias and Moonstruck, took a step away from her lifelong acting career to commemorate her Greek heritage in 1997. Dukakis paired up with Jason Bauer, who co-founded Famous Fixins, to create her very own Greek salad dressing. The Olympia Dukakis Greek Salad Dressing contained olive oil, feta cheese, and no preservatives. Along with an authentic and delicious taste, the dressing was even better because a portion of its proceeds were designated for domestic violence prevention.
7) Hulkster Cheeseburger
WWE champion turned reality star, Hulk Hogan is the face behind the Hulkster Cheeseburger. The frozen burgers can be purchased for $3.98 for a pack of four at your local Walmart; just look for a red box with the image of a burger along with Hogan’s face and signature. Marketed as a “flame broiled cheeseburger on a bun,” the Hulkster Burger became famous for a remarkably poor review on Youtube, by Jeepers Media in which it is stated that even a dog doesn’t want to eat the patty.
6) Stallone High Protein Pudding
Sylvester Stallone became famous for his roles as Rocky and Rambo, but who knew he had a pudding venture on the side? Stallone High Protein Pudding was not the kind of thing you’d put in your kid’s lunchbox. With 20 grams of protein and no sugar, it was meant more as a supplement than a tasty treat.
However, the pudding soon became the middle of a multi-million dollar lawsuit when William Brescia, an inventor from Pasadena, sued. Brescia said he began developing his high energy pudding in 1999, which Stallone and his business partners stole and marketed as their own. Stallone maintains, however, that anyone could have come up with a protein-filled pudding. Unfortunately, though, the Stallone Pudding was discontinued due to the lawsuit.
5) Rachael Ray Nutrish
As a celebrity chef, it’s not really a surprise that Rachael Ray has her own line of food. Nutrish, however, is not food for people but for their pets. Ray explained her decision for the pet line, “I love my dog Isaboo and as a member of my family, I need to make sure that she eats as well as the rest of us. With the launch of Nutrish, I now have the opportunity to share with other pet lovers, some of her favorite meals, flavors and special treats.”
Ray launched Nutrish as a pet food with no by-products or fillers. With wet and dry varieties for both cats and dogs, as well as dog treats, Ray aimed to please everyone with these wholesome pet products. Even further, a portion of the proceeds from Nutrish goes to Rachael’s Rescue, her organization that benefits shelter animals.
4) William Shatner Ketchup
William Shatner is best known for playing Captain Kirk in the Star Trek television show in the 60s. But in 2004, Shatner would boldly go where no man has gone before – the Heinz factory. Shatner personalized a ketchup bottle for “Heinz Pours It On For Charity.” Along with Shatner’s name, the ketchup label featured the quote, “Fixes burgers at warp speed.” The bottles were auctioned at a one day event, but can still be found online as collectibles today.
3) Seagal’s Lightening Bolt
Steven Seagal, who has recently been in the news for praising Putin’s action in Ukraine, used to be in the spotlight as a bodyguard turned actor. One of his endeavors that’s not as well known, however, is his foray into the energy drink biz. Steven Seagal’s Lightening Bolt drink entered the market in the mid 2000s. The beverage competed with other energy drinks like Monster and Redbull by boasting its 100 percent juice, all natural contents. The drink came in two varieties, Cherry Charge and Asian Experience (which, to some, was a nonsensical name for a flavor). It may not be a surprise that Lightening Bolt has since went under.
2) Heidi’s Fruit Flirtations
In the midst of Project Runway‘s success, supermodel Heidi Klum launched her “healthy” line of fruit candies. The cotton candy colored packaging featured a large sketch of Klum’s face and images of the flirtatious candies, complete with little hearts or faces on each of them. Heidi’s Fruit Flirtations were marketed as a fat free snack but never became popular among health-conscious consumers, due to their high sugar and carb content.
1) The Cheech Hot Sauce
Stand up comedian, Cheech Marin’s new business is no joke. The Mexican American funny guy recently launched his own line of hot sauces, that have become wildly popular among both his fans and spicy condiment aficionados. Each bottle features a caricature of The Cheech himself, along with the name of the hot sauce flavor, which could be any one of the three: Smokin’ Chipotle, Gnarly Garlic, or Mojo Mango.
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