Teenagers are eating laundry pods because they’ve seen it happen on the internet.
As a result, health professionals, parents, teachers, and the manufacturers themselves are imploring young people to stop eating the colourful detergent.
Tide Pods are the most famous of all washing liquid capsules. They look beautiful, and so first caused the curious attraction.
The ‘tide’ is relentless, too. Despite warnings and reports of serious health risks, there are some youngsters intent on gaining online fame by way of a foamy mouth.
As a result of all this, you might take news one of two ways – is it an irresponsible coat-tail-riding sales tactic? Or a light-hearted take in the hope of letting kids know that they don’t actually have to eat colourful little laundry pods, squishy and appealing as they are?
US doughnut shop Wake N Bake Donuts has come up with its own response to the Tide Pod Challenge.
It’s created a doughnut in homage to the pods. It’s round, soft, and coloured with the now famous blue and orange swirly design. But it’s not toxic.
In a Facebook post, the company, from California Beach, said that one of its "millennial employees, (Caitlin) decided to take a moment to teach the youth the difference between what to eat and what not eat."
It’s clever marketing. A lot of people appear keen to tuck in. Others worry it might perpetuate the apparent inclination young people feel to eat Tide Pods in the first place.
"Not cool, said one. "You can make fun of this but as a councilmen [sic] of our community not cool at all."
Mary Kylander said: "This is no joke. Hopefully none of your kids have died from eating Tide Pods. Think how disrespectful this is."