HUFFINGTON POST
12/18/2012 11:05 am ET Updated Dec 18, 2012

Food Companies Cash In On Mayan Apocalypse

You've likely heard rumors that the world as we know it will end on December 21. The theory is ascribed to ancient Mayans, who may not have believed in it themselves, and has been adopted by the worrisome and the over-prepared. Other supposed believers in the Mayan apocalypse? National food chains. Or at least their marketing campaigns seem to say so.

T.G.I. Friday's will host apocalypse-themed parties nationwide, complete with Mayan Margarita's and raffles to win End of the World survival kits (i.e. cocktail kits). The restaurant will also offer an apocalypse-themed menu, featuring Jack Daniel's ribs.

“When I thought about the potential end of the world, on a Friday no less, I knew we had to do something about it,” Nick Shepherd, CEO of Carlson Restaurants, said.

Carl's Jr. celebrated early by creating what it has dubbed a 12x12x12 burger in their test kitchen. The massive sandwich includes a dozen patties and a dozen slices of cheese. The company posted photos on Facebook and Twitter, writing, "If it's not the end of the world, then it's definitely the end of your hunger. #burgergeddon #baconpocalypse #cheesetastrophe."

Jell-O is cashing in too, with a facetious "Funpocalypse" campaign in which the company describes Jell-O pudding as "the funnest sacrifice ever," and a much better gift for the gods than, say, corn.

Predictably, local bars and restaurants are also taking advantage of the occasion. Austin-based Mexican grill Iron Cactus will be serving up a fittingly hedonistic margarita. The drink features DeLeón reposado tequila, Grand Marnier 100 year, agave nectar and real gold flakes. It'll cost $100, but, in the likely event that our planet still exists on Saturday, customers who purchased the drink can return for another on the house.

Another local spot taking advantage of the rumored apocalypse is Mayan Café in Louisville, Kentucky. As the name implies, the restaurant typically serves Mayan-inspired fare, such as spaghetti squash, potatoes and mole sauce, but the restaurant has tweaked its menu for the month of December in honor of doomsday. New items include lobster ceviche and flan with a caramel-orange-dark rum sauce.

NASA has devoted much of their social media energy to debunking the doomsday myths. Still, 12 percent of Americans believe the world will end this Friday, according to Mother Jones. For these concerned few, there are plenty of earnest food companies selling survival equipment such as food storage sprouting kits, fishing kits and hydrofarms.

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