Friday, February 13, 2009

An open letter to Kraft Canada & Mr Christie Crackers

I just opened a "family size" box of Salted top Premium Plus crackers to make lunch for my husband. I put the sleeve on the plate for him to open them and use at his discretion, walking away to continue lunch for the children. He called me into the room and told me to look at the cracker and I immediately noticed that the crackers are no longer square, they are in fact very visibly a rectangle now. In fact I measured them and they are 5 to 6 mm (or .5 cm) shorter on one side.

I would like to think that this is a manufacturing mistake you are unaware of, but sadly I know it is not. I have seen too many companies recently downsizing the amount of food they sell us, in the same looking package, charge the same, or even more then the price before, claiming the cost of ingredients and production, transportation, and the shape the economy is in is making these changes a necessity. We even get carefully worded guilt trips from companies telling us that if you don't do this, you'll have no choice but to discontinue making our cherish and beloved products you offer us...and ya I know, it works for the most part.. the average consumer sucks it up and thinks..."well. it's not THAT bad really... and I really want to still be able to buy my ".

Maybe I could forgive you if I didn't feel so lied to right now. But, the picture on the box shows the crackers are still square, in fact, they are lifesize, they always were. It's a marketing thing, I know.

Though you may have changed the number in grams on the corner of the box to reflect the change and that is all you're required to do, you know full well that if the box looks the same, and it is a trusted product that your customers have been buying for years, they won't take notice of the weight change of the contents in the box.

I can assure you though, HAD I noticed this in the store, I would not have purchased them at all. You rely on people like me shopping in a rush with two small children distracting me to not notice the changes, until we've already bought them, and get home and open them. You then hope we'll be complacent enough to not care, or be too busy to concern ourselves with returning the product, and then hope that we will forget by the next grocery trip and buy them again. You rely on this until we, the general population, just shrug in indifference and keep buying them anyway, because by then, what's the point of complaining. Right?

This is a clear manipulation by your marketing & package design departments, and is a clearly a blatant case of false advertisement you'd hope would slip by without much complaint. Well, Mr. Christie, let me assure you, I don't like being manipulated and lied to and being treated like an idiot.

Perhaps it will just slip by most people. Perhaps you don't care that I've noticed and am upset by this, because I'm just one representative of a small percentage of customers who would take the time to write and complain about this. But I will not sit silent and let you think that you are getting away with this without it being noticed.

I have eaten Premium Plus crackers since I was 4 months old and my mother fed them to me when I was teething, and sadly,at 35 years old, after this box is gone (which I will consume is disgust only to not waste my money) I will no longer be purchasing your crackers.

Sincerely, A mother, wife, and main household shopper in your prime demographic.

1 comment:

The Four Week Vegan said...

OUCH - You tell 'em!!! I have been seeing it alot here too - everything looks the same, costs the same, tastes the same, but you get less than before. Just the other day I noted that our regular pack of tortillas that contained 30 now only contains 24 for the same price - that is a big jump per tortilla. Gotta keep our eyes open and if you need to take a stand,then stand firm.