The Best and Worst Celebrity Endorsements

What is she... Is she literally pouring herself a glass of wine?
What is she... Is she literally pouring herself a glass of wine?

A few weeks back, I saw a Tweet from my friend Melissa, who found herself alternately captivated and horrified by what she'd come across in her local Kroger. It was a sign advertising a line of Pinot Grigio from Ramona Singer (above), one of the many identical-looking reality stars from Bravo's Real Housewives shows.

Singer is far from the first celebrity, or the first reality star, to endorse a line of food or beverage products. Hell, she's far from the first Real Housewife (see: Frankel, Bethenny). This latest reality star-backed abomination made me think back on all the appalling celeb endorsements that we've endured over the years. But it also made me think of the good endorsements: classics that have stood the test of time and mindful endorsements backed with common sense.

Despite Julia Child's admonishment that commercial endorsements were demeaning to chefs, there have been a few truly great endorsements over the years from both celebrity chefs and celebrities that set precedents and made memories. Our list starts with the best celebrity endorsements below.

The 5 Best

No. 5 Celebrity: Giada De Laurentiis Product: Tomato Basil Pasta Sauce

This is a celebrity product pairing that makes sense: Giada De Laurentiis, longtime host of a popular Italian cooking show on the Food Network, and a line of Italian pastas and sauces. And the stuff actually tastes good, too. I'm not the only one who thinks so, either: Consumer Reports put the sauce in its "excellent" category along with fellow celeb chefs Mario Batali and Wolfgang Puck's own version of the jarred sauces. What pushes it to the top, however, is its accessible price: only $3 at Target.

I don't care about antioxidants; I just like the taste of grape juice.
I don't care about antioxidants; I just like the taste of grape juice.

No. 4 Celebrity: Alton Brown Product: Welch's

While this pairing may have seemed odd at first, anything is better than the creepy kids that used to populate Welch's grape juice commercials. Besides -- as YumSugar points out -- other celebrity endorsements from the Food Network (aside from Giada and Mario) are for questionable entities: Rachael Ray for Dunkin' Donuts, Guy Fieri for T.G.I. Fridays, Tyler Florence for Applebee's and so on. At least Brown is endorsing a 100 percent fruit-based drink, instead of fat-, salt- and sugar-laden restaurant meals.

No. 3 Celebrity: George Foreman Product: The George Foreman Grill

Admittedly, this isn't a food -- but it's just as impactful of an endorsement. Foreman demonstrated to legions of fans that it's possible to have good food that's not drowning in fat, and he showed them how with his grill. He was successful at it, too: Over 100 million grills were sold in just 15 years.


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