You never really need to wonder where the beef empanadas are, inside the display case, at least at Whole Foods, given the literal “beef” branding — visible on the edge of each outer dough shell.
This is a good example of a word appearing on a product that does not function as a trademark, as it does not satisfy the 3 elements of: identifying, distinguishing, and indicating a product’s source.
Instead, the word “beef” above connotes what’s inside, the primary ingredient of each empanada — you might say, it is merely informational, incapable of serving a trademark or brand purpose.
While “beef” could be a perfectly suitable and suggestive trademark for something not containing that meat, like clothing (assuming it’s available); as it is above, it’s simply a generic designation.
I’m thinking Whole Foods is missing out on an opportunity to also imprint on its empanadas a symbol that designates where they came from, who put them out, their source, don’t you think?