Can I use product names in my story?

#1
Having this debate with my boyfriend right now.  I wanted to say Wheaties, breakfast of champions and he said I had to make it generic and just call it breakfast of winners. 

My story is about a convenience store and monsters are made out of some of the food or the mascots of food.  Right now the discussion we are having is can I say Twinkies or do I need to say sponge cake or snack cake?  Can I say Lucky Charms or do I need to call it something else?

Does anyone know if a writer can get into trouble with the companies mentioned for using product names in a fictional story?  (I told him if my story gets so much traction it comes to their attention it might be a good problem to have.)

I'm still pretty early on in my story so it hasn't been a major issue yet but I would like to know if I'm free to use product names or not.

 

Re: Can I use product names in my story?

#2
The answer is 'Yes, you can.'
Here is an article that might be helpful. http://www.rightsofwriters.com/2010/12/can-i-mention-brand-name-products-in-my.html

Of course, there could be a wrong way to do so. Example: "George was scavenging for food when he found a can of Coke and drank it."

vs. 

"Coke? All that's left to eat or drink is Coke? Even the zombies won't touch it! Coke tastes like three day old Zombie asshole with a dead fish stuck in the middle. Coke gives you Cancer just looking at it. Coke is probably what made people into Zombies it tastes so bad!! It's like leprosy in a can." George took his baseball bat and beat the Coke machine to death. This attracted a lot of zombies. George didn't care he just kept hitting the Coke machine. The zombies applauded and let him go. No likes Coke. NO ONE.

Disclaimer: I like Coke. It would be what got me through a zombie apocalypse.

Re: Can I use product names in my story?

#6
The Wrote: "Coke? All that's left to eat or drink is Coke? Even the zombies won't touch it! Coke tastes like three day old Zombie asshole with a dead fish stuck in the middle. Coke gives you Cancer just looking at it. Coke is probably what made people into Zombies it tastes so bad!! It's like leprosy in a can." George took his baseball bat and beat the Coke machine to death. This attracted a lot of zombies. George didn't care he just kept hitting the Coke machine. The zombies applauded and let him go. No likes Coke. NO ONE.
Go on.

Re: Can I use product names in my story?

#7
The Wrote: The answer is 'Yes, you can.'
Here is an article that might be helpful. http://www.rightsofwriters.com/2010/12/can-i-mention-brand-name-products-in-my.html

Of course, there could be a wrong way to do so. Example: "George was scavenging for food when he found a can of Coke and drank it."

vs. 

"Coke? All that's left to eat or drink is Coke? Even the zombies won't touch it! Coke tastes like three day old Zombie asshole with a dead fish stuck in the middle. Coke gives you Cancer just looking at it. Coke is probably what made people into Zombies it tastes so bad!! It's like leprosy in a can." George took his baseball bat and beat the Coke machine to death. This attracted a lot of zombies. George didn't care he just kept hitting the Coke machine. The zombies applauded and let him go. No likes Coke. NO ONE.

Disclaimer: I like Coke. It would be what got me through a zombie apocalypse.

Legally, this is a joke.