This is an ever-evolving story of a girl writer and her two greatest loves, the movies and travel. As she hikes the trenches of Hollywood, you're brought along for the ride.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Rinky-Dink Ink For Corporate America

I've never been
afraid to get egg
on my face...

Maybe it’s because of my advertising background or because of my love for writing, but sometimes when I’m bored, I like to write to companies about their products.

Occasionally, I’ll rant or bring an issue that’s important to me to their attention, but I try to write nice things about their products when I can since I figure that most people who take the time to make a comment are probably of the “ranting” variety.

I also like to be funny since I also figure that the people working at these mega-conglomerate corporations are most probably just as bored as I am (if not more) and are hoping for funny “product fan mail.”

I get the most fun from actually writing commentary to companies, but Company responses to inquiries can also be interesting.

Once I wrote to Jollytime Popcorn because I was annoyed that they were still using partially hydrogenated oil in their popcorn when Newman’s Own (& others) had switched to palm kernel oil. (I always like to mention the competition; it’s more fun that way.)
Jollytime got back to me with a letter stating exactly why partially hydrogenated oil was necessary for them…blah...and then gave me (3) coupons for FREE BOXES of their partially-hydrogenated-laden popcorn product.
Yippee Skippee, Hooray…
partially hydrogenated
popped corn
fun for me today!!!

Like I was ranting to them about their ingredients because what I really wanted was free product.

Partially hydrogenated oils in products has been one of my major peeves for about 3 years so it’s frequently one of my product rant topics.

I even wrote an ode to Cool-Whip about it:

Dear Kraft (Mother of Cool-Whip),

I used to LOVE Cool Whip... I'd freeze it and eat it right out of the container. I flipped when you came up with Chocolate and French Vanilla Cool Whip... That is, until about 2 YEARS AGO when I quit the WHIP... The ingredients on your label creeped me out: artificial ingredients I can't pronounce or identify, high-fructose corn syrup, hydrogenated oils... all the stuff we, humans should avoid.

So, I'd love to give you a compliment about your product, but unfortunately, I have to lament on why I can no longer do the WHIP. I miss you, I really do, but until you take away the hydrogenation and come up with another way to sweeten minus high fructose corn shopping cart will wheel right by the refrigerated display cases of Cool Whip...and I'll look away. (I've gotta be honest. This just isn't working and so...I’m gonna have to start spending more time with Mr. Reddi Whip. Sorry to break it to you...)

Yummy Cool-Whip Ingredients

Yes, I told them I was cheating on them with Mr. Reddi-Wip made of real cream and sugar which may be why I never heard back from them.

Here's another of my ingredient rants, which I would have liked to have titled, Smart Start My Ass??, but I'm sure the Kellogg's people would not have responded favorably to that.

Dear Kellogg’s

I was disappointed in your cold cereals as I looked at the ingredients online today and found that out of the forty-one cereals I looked at, only 9 did not have either: a) partially hydrogenated oils or b) high fructose corn syrup. I've had to cut out some of my former faves
( Kellogg's Corn Pops, for one) because I cut the above ingredients from my diet about three years ago.

Come on, even original Raisin Bran and Cornflakes and all your "Smart Start" varieties? (high fructose corn syrup) Your organic raisin bran has neither (HFCS/PHO) so I know it can be done.

I hope that you can adjust your recipes in the future.

From A "Cold Cereal For Dinner" California Girl
From Kellogg’s, I got the generic “trans fat/partially hydrogenated oil” response, but in Kellogg’s defense (as well as General Mills) they both said they are trying to work on it because of consumer concerns like mine.

From Kellogg’s: “Our food scientists have been working hard to reduce or replace the partially hydrogenated oils in our products, while retaining the taste and texture you love. We have made significant progress as a number of Kellogg products, including Morningstar Farms®, Eggo® Waffles, and virtually all of our cereals, are free of trans fat.”

Thanks for the update Kellogg's...keep us consumers aware...and aspire to more than FDA minimums, thanks!

Copyright © 2007 Kendra Liedle

*Photo credit: Cheryl's Art Box/ Funnyface eggs/flickr

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