There are some products that change your life — the Pizza Pouch is not one of those products.
When I first came across the Portable Pizza Pouch — a plastic pizza-shaped ziplock bag to carry leftover pizza around your neck — I asked to test it out as a joke. But when the package arrived at my desk, I secretly hoped the pouch would be so genuinely incredible and useful it would stop the world in its tracks and change the way we all eat pizza forever. When a product is created and sold by a site called Stupidiotic, however, the chances for such success shrink to nigh impossible.
The Pizza Pouch arrived rather unceremoniously in a standard cardboard box. There was no fancy wrapping paper or packaging, though I'm not entirely sure what I was expecting. (Scratch 'n sniff pizza scented tissue paper could have been a nice move.) Instead, it was just two plastic triangles with lanyards attached to them, reminiscent of the name tag you're forced to wear at summer camp.
Each pouch was outfitted with a piece of pepperoni pizza cardboard, driving the message home: The Pizza Pouch is for pizza, got it?
There are two really disconcerting aspects to the Pizza Pouch. First, it's made out of a plastic that has a very, well, plastic-y smell to it (you know, that smell that happens when plastic starts to melt?). The idea of putting a hot slice of pizza or even a lukewarm one — or really any slice of pizza with any somewhat warm molecules — in the pouch was the polar opposite of tempting. It took some real suspension of belief to trust that the sac wouldn't just melt onto the slice of pizza, and my body.
Second, it's really small.
Unless your slice comes from one of those tiny kitchen videos, no normal pizza is small enough to fit in the bag with room to zip up. I happen to live in New York City, where the slices are big, but not to the point of scaring off a hungry rodent.
Attempting to shove the slice into the minuscule pouch was, needless to say, a disaster.
While the plastic did not melt or adhere to the cheese slice I put in it, the grease from the pizza quickly pooled at the tip of the pouch. Gross. I recommend a pizza cutter and some spare dabbing napkins for anyone who has serious plans for this tool.
I was unprotected. It was strange and uncomfortable to walk around with flour-coated crust touching my décolletage.
I eventually removed the slice from around my neck because it was distracting to work with pizza rubbing up against my bare skin and the scent of cheese and tomato sauce constantly wafting up to my nose. It was also daunting to have my co-workers taking hundreds of unflattering photos and uploading them to various parts of the internet.
I placed the pouch on my desk. When I picked it up a few hours later, all the pizza grease had solidified around the tip of the pouch. The product claims to be reusable, but I really don't see how it's possible to cut through the Great Wall of Fat that had been left rimming the bottom of the pouch.
The Pizza Pouch does get a few extra points, however, for actually looking like it does on the internet in real life. And in theory it could be useful for storing a small, leftover slice of pizza.
From a business perspective, the Portable Pizza Pouch deserves recognition. The stunt item was on backorder back in October, People noted, meaning many people were willing to shell out $8 for a gag gift that is supremely non-disruptive to the market.
That said, the product is pretty useless if you like regular-sized slices of pizza and aren't into gag gifts. If you are someone who enjoys doing things for the 'gram and you can afford to shell out $8 for a laugh (plus more for pizza), then go ahead and live your best life. After all, there are dumber and more expensive things out there that you aren't wasting your money on.