SkyMall Monday: Food Pillows

gadling food pillows Some decisions are easy because you simply don’t have a choice. The decision is made for you when there’s only one option. Others force you to pick between two worthy candidates (think ice cream or cookies for dessert). Things get tricky when you encounter more than two viable options. How do you choose from a cornucopia of wonder? Here at SkyMall Monday, we typically engage in heated battles of Rock, Paper, Scissors to make these critical decisions. However, sometimes we become so paralyzed by the options that we can’t make up our minds. What do you do when presented with so many outstanding products? That’s the dilemma we’re facing this week thanks to SkyMall. To solve the problem, we’re turning to you, dear readers. Help us decide which of these will become the Official Food Pillow of SkyMall Monday.Food pillows? They’re pillows that look like foods. Too hard to eat, just soft enough to enjoy. Don’t believe me? Check out the product description:

We dreamed we ate an ice cream sandwich and when we woke up our pillow was gone…

Completely dreamy pillows look like the real thing, right down to the delicious detailing.

Dreamy pillows? That’s a delicious play on words right there!

But which pillow is the most palatable? Let’s look at the contestants:

gadling food pillow cupcakeSushi – Something smells fishy, but it’s not your pillow. Naps on this will only leave you feeling fresh (though you should probably take a shower because, unlike your pillow, you smell pretty foul).

Cupcake – Ever wish that you could have an extra large cupcake? As if it were some sort of, I don’t know, cake.

Pizza – No need to blot the grease off of this pizza before you plant your face on it!

Ice Cream Sandwich – Not the sexiest option from the Good Humor man, but better than a pillow with a gross gumball nose.

So many fantastic options. But only one can be named the Official Food Pillow of SkyMall Monday. Seriously, we need one of these for SkyMall Monday headquarters. But which one?! Vote below to help us decide!

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Check out all of the previous SkyMall Monday posts HERE.

SkyMall Monday: An Interview with SkyMall CEO Christine Aguilera

We’re doing something a little different for SkyMall Monday this week. There will be no review of an amazing and much-needed SkyMall product. Instead, I am pleased to share with you my interview with the CEO of Skymall, Christine Aguilera. Ms. Aguilera was kind enough to answer my questions despite the fact that she is familiar with SkyMall Monday and reads my reviews. In fact, she admitted to finding me funny. As such, I respect and admire her greatly.

Even after learning that Ms. Aguilera was not the multiplatinum recording sensation, I was still eager to get her thoughts on the inner workings of SkyMall, its most popular products and who in their right mind would buy medical supplies from an airplane catalog.

What is the best-selling product in SkyMall’s history?

The Mosquito Magnet, an electronic device to attract and kill mosquitoes. It debuted in SkyMall and is our top seller to date. We’ve also sold a ton of nose hair trimmers.

What is currently the most popular product in terms of recent sales?

Top-selling products change from week to week. Some of the recent top sellers include: The Edge Baking Pan, the iPhone iPod battery, the upside-down tomato garden, and the spy pen.
Currently, how many different products does SkyMall offer?

There are approximately 2,000 products in our in-flight catalog and 15,000 products online.

Do vendors approach SkyMall to carry their products?

We receive approximately 100 inquiries per week regarding featuring product in the SkyMall catalog and on SkyMall.com. We also have a team of merchandisers that work directly manufacturers and attend trade shows to find new and interesting products.

Is there a giant SkyMall warehouse with all of the products or do you partner with your vendors to handle the shipment of orders?

SkyMall does not warehouse any inventory; all merchandise is shipped directly by the product supplier.

How many airlines carry SkyMall?

SkyMall is on 13 airlines and Amtrak. The title of the catalog on Amtrak is “TravelMall” but it features the same products as the SkyMall catalog.

Who vets potential products to make sure that they are suitable for SkyMall?

We have a team of merchandisers that review each product.

Could I be the official SkyMall product tester? How does one get such a job?

We don’t really have one official product tester but you are more than welcome to buy a bunch products and post reviews on SkyMall.com. We would LOVE that!

Has SkyMall ever refused to carry a product?

SkyMall carries products that are innovative, unique, or solution oriented. If something doesn’t fit that description, it won’t be considered. We also make sure that products are appropriate for “family friendly” viewing.

Who writes the product descriptions for SkyMall?

Most descriptions come directly from the catalog partner. Some are written by SkyMall staff.

Q: Should people be purchasing Shingles medication from SkyMall?

A: Only if they have Shingles.

How often is the paper catalog updated?

The inflight catalog is updated four times each year. We are constantly adding new product to SkyMall.com

How many catalogs are printed annually?

About 20 million.

How has the popularity of internet shopping affected SkyMall’s business?

The internet has been great for us. We’ve had a site since 1996. On SkyMall.com we can feature more products, include product reviews, and interact with customers in new ways.

What percentage of SkyMall sales come from the catalog vs. the website?

60% website, 40% catalog

What is the “Mobile Virtual Store” that SkyMall has launched?

SkyMall has a mobile shopping site. Customers can view product and make purchases directly from their mobile devices. They can also SMS an item number to 49432 to make a purchase.

Has Snuggie‘s direct marketing campaign affected SkyMall’s sales of the Slanket?

The Slanket was very popular this past winter. We don’t really have a way to gauge if its sales were impacted by competing products.

Is there such thing as a “typical” or “average” SkyMall customer?

They’re typically earlier adopters of technology and business decision makers…they like to have things the neighbors don’t have.

What is your favorite current SkyMall product?

The Wonder Woman bracelet! Really!

Do you purchase SkyMall items? What do you own from the catalog?

All the time…a door mat, bug vacuum, wine chiller, Jumpin Jammerz, giant cupcake pan.

SkyMall is known for carrying some, shall we say, odd products. What do you think the public’s perception of SkyMall is?

For every wacky product that someone sees, they see another that they just have to have. What I think is cool, you might think is ridiculous and vice versa.

Even you must think that some of the products in SkyMall are a bit strange. Which products make you shake your head and wonder, “Who would buy that?”

I’m not a big fan of the Garden Yeti (but our VP of Marketing loves hers.)

What do you say to people who laugh at SkyMall or some of the products?

I’m glad we’ve made you smile! People should do more of that!

Should people be purchasing Shingles medication from SkyMall?

Only if they have Shingles.

Touché, Ms. Aguilera. Touché.

Special thanks to Joey O’Donnell of SkyMall for his assistance in coordinating this interview.

Check out all of the previous SkyMall Monday posts HERE.

Find a cupcake in New York

Leave it to New Yorkers to be picky and demanding. Whether it’s upscale meals or obscure vodka brands, we want what we want, and if you don’t carry it, you’re somehow “lesser.” Cupcakes are no different. From my window, I can see the Upper West Side‘s Magnolia Bakery (one of three in the city), and there are many others.

In The Atlantic Monthly, a close look is taken at cupcakes, particularly in New York. The balance between cake and frosting is considered crucial, and (thankfully) Corby Kummer gives you a sense of who’s who in the large and growing world of Manhattan cupcake bakeries.

Well, starting with my neighborhood, poor Magnolia is said not to have any flavor in the cake (which I think is a bit harsh). Buttercup’s icing is better, but the cake isn’t. Sugar Sweet Sunshine – which, like Buttercup, comes from former Magnolia talent – is better than both.

Sadly, Kummer missed the latest entry into the Manhattan cupcake market: The Little Pie Company. Known for the most amazing cakes and pies in the city, sex and cupcake blogger Rachel Kramer Bussell tried in vain to get one on Christmas Eve last year. Later, she did succeed, and the cupcake was everything she’d hoped it would be.

[Via The Atlantic Monthly]

[Photo: cupcake from The Little Pie Company, Cupcakes Take the Cake]