Why The Bear Season 2 Serves Up More Food Brands You Might Actually Use In Real Life

If it feels like you saw way more brand names while you were binging "The Bear" after its second season dropped on June 22, it's because, well, you did. According to a report in Variety, Season 2 of FX and Hulu's hit restaurant drama is bringing more product placement into the fold.

Once a concept mocked by satirical films like "Josie and the Pussycats," product placement is a natural part of the entertainment landscape, but it might be surprising to see it pop up in a series like "The Bear." The reasoning behind the decision, per Variety, is that by including food products that exist in the real world instead of the fake ones that sometimes populate on-screen kitchens, it might encourage viewers to go out and buy them so they can cook decadent meals worthy of "The Bear."

Variety name-checks brands that will probably pop up that include Coca-Cola, American Express' restaurant reservation system Resy, and Stella Artois beer, with a quote from Disney executive John Campbell explaining that this choice will "allow brands and clients to get closer to the intellectual property, closer to the talent."

A very real product used by home cooks and chefs was part of The Bear Season 1

During Season 1 of "The Bear," though, a very real food product was a huge part of the narrative — specifically, San Marzano tomatoes. There are a handful of companies that sell diced, crushed, or whole San Marzano tomatoes, but the designation also has its own brand name, and those particular cans are a huge key to the Season 1 finale of "The Bear," where Carmy (Jeremy Allen White) notices something strange.

After taking over the sandwich shop run by his late brother Mikey (Jon Bernthal), Carmy spends his time trying to turn it into a dining destination, but he simply doesn't have the capital... until the day where he starts opening cans of tomatoes. The cans are filled with San Marzano tomatoes at all, but cold hard cash; Mikey was hiding cash in them all along, and this discovery gives him literally everything he needs to open his own place in The Beef's former spot.

Product placement definitely doesn't change the feeling of The Bear Season 2

At first bite, it might seem like loading "The Bear" up with product placement now that executives know how popular the series became after its premiere is an awful, craven idea. Variety even notes that Disney — which owns Hulu — has created several different promotional campaigns and even an experience in Chicago, where there's a replica of the restaurant for fans to explore. So is this going to ruin the vibe and feel of Season 2?

No. Definitely not. The full second season of "The Bear" has been unleashed unto the world, and without spoiling anything, it's bigger and better than its first outing. As Carmy and the gang try and get their fine dining restaurant The Bear off the ground and face bureaucratic, personal, and financial obstacles, the essential fervor and drive of the first season is still there — but the show also slows down a bit. Characters like Richie (Ebon Moss-Bachrach) get episodes centered on them where they can show real growth, and one major anchoring episode, which flashes back to a family holiday with Carmy, explains why so many of these characters are the way that they are.

Product placement and all, Season 2 of "The Bear" is available to stream in full on Hulu now.