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Fifteen Forbidden Food Cliché Words

Article by
Charlie Hopper
Principal, Writer
Young & Laramore
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1. Delicious

2. Delectable

3. Succulent

4. Sumptuous

5. Scrumptious

6. Mouth-Watering

7. Piping Hot

8. Grilled To Perfection (Anything “To Perfection”)

9. Treat Your Tastebuds

10. Taste Sensation/Celebration/Explosion

11. Golden-Brown/Tender-Flaky

12. Yum(my)

13. Palate-Pleasing

14. Luscious

15. Like Grandma/Mom/Other Fictional Female Relative Used To Make


Hype. Inaccuracy. Mindless repetition of phrases thought up by people who died before we were born. Practically every food advertisement, every menu is guilty. And the problem with sounding like everybody else is, you sound like everybody else. And people stop listening, or don’t believe you. That leaves you no chance of distinguishing yourself, other than by word of (watering) mouth.

How does one inspire something as complicated as appetite, as unpredictable as a hankering? By deciding what you want your readers or listeners to conclude, and then finding simple, descriptive, non-clichéd language to convey your meaning. Dare to be interesting.

And stop using (at least) those fifteen clichés.

Charlie Hopper, Principal, Writer at Y&L

Over the past 30-something years, Charlie’s played many roles at Y&L, including writer, principal, general enthusiast and creative director on Steak ’n Shake during its heyday at the agency. He is also the author of Selling Eating: Restaurant Marketing Beyond the Word “Delicious.”