The food aisle of the local Big Lots had a big display of Chef Boyardee cans. They were labeled "Spoon-Sized Pasta Shapes," but the labels were unusual - the usual photo showing the product (the "serving suggestion") was missing. Lynnafred picked up a can to take a closer look, and noticed a bil;ingual "Nutrition Facts" label (English/French) faintly showing through the red background next to Chef's picture. We decided to buy a can to see what was underneath.
At home, she carefully worked her way under the top label with a knife and then started peeling away the glued seam, revealing Chef Boyardee NHL Pasta. The pasta was shaped like little National Hockey League logos, and all the text was in English and French, for sale in Canada. The label was cluttered with graphics and information about a special contest; the lucky winner would receive tickets to the 2009 NHL All Star game!
The contest ended in December 2008. ConAgra must have found itself with thousands of unsold cans of Chef with obviously outdated labels and decided to cut their losses by sticking on a new label and sending the cans out to the remainder market.
So - the contest ran from September 29th to December 24th in 2008, and the NHL All-Star Game was on January 25, 2009. That pasta must have been pretty old, eh? Was ConAgra tarnishing the good name of Chef Boyardee by slapping on new labels and putting the stuff out at Big Lots?
Nope. Contest dates notwithstanding, the bottom of the can includes a quality assurance code and a "Best by" date of July 13, 2010. We're good until next summer if necessary.