There are some brands which are bulletproof. No matter how many failed and dumb brand extensions there are, the core brand remains unassailable. As long as you don’t mess with actual Coke*, you can make as many Vanilla’s, Cherry’s and Coke Zero’s specifically for Nigel you like. And with this fiveway explosion of Heinz Baked Beans there is a “throw-it-at-the-wall-and-see-if-it-sticks**” insouciance bred from the knowledge that British people will still buy Baked Beans even if you did an Arsenic Flavour.

Still lets look at these five new flavours:

Ok, so some of these have been around before, just branded differently. Th old Curried Beans had raisins in it, I’m guessing this is no longer the case. Barbecue beans and even probably even beans with fiery chilli have been around before (though probably will not come close to a liberal hand with the Tabasco). No the two interesting ones are the “Garlic & Herb” variant and the “Cheddar Cheese” one. I have no problem intellectually with the Garlic & Herb idea, it just seems to run a little counter to the concept of Baked Beans. Garlickier beans could be nice, just never a concept that I had ever thought of. On the other hand Beans & Cheese, that’s been around at least on top of jacket potatoes, for donkey’s years. But just leaving grated cheddar cheese in the tin? That seems a little wrong. OK, it seems downright disgusting.

Still none of this will harm the brand, which makes you wonder why they are not more adventurous. Yes Cheddar, but how about Brie? We are used to cocktail sausages, how about mussels? And the biggest mystery is the missing flavour. Heinz now own HP Sauce, so where is the Beans With A Hint Of HP, which is how at least 40% of British people already eat them?

*Hello New Coke.

**If you throw beans against a wall, a few will stick. And then get dried on, and be bloody hard to get off – and make up the substain part of the claim against your deposit.