20 June 2009
Open Letter to the Bahlsen Company
I am a big fan of your Afrika dark chocolate cookies (or rather, those delicate slices of wafer enrobed in dark continental chocolate). In fact, I once contributed some to a chocolate-lovers gift basket with a note that they were “the world’s best chocolate cookie, bar none.” I truly believe this. And the packaging was so simple – chocolate cookie squares, packed side by side, in a little cardboard tray that slides out of the cubic outer box. Lovely. Elegant!
But when i went to buy a box the other day, I noticed something had changed. Not just the picture (which had changed on the old box a while back), but the shape of the box. It was strangely bigger – unusual in the current economic climate! But as soon as I picked it up, I heard a little rattle inside that revealed the presence of inner plastic packaging. “Feh!” I thought. “They added extra packaging, I bet there are fewer cookies inside.” And while I can’t be positive, I think the weight has decreased and there are fewer cookies inside.
Now I shouldn’t begrudge you the need to cut a few corners. But honestly, did you think we would be fooled? I don’t have any old packages so I can’t compare the weights. But even if I’m wrong on that point, at a time when companies right and left are bragging about their eco-consciousness, did it really make sense to add excess packaging? Silly, that’s what it was. And the part of my brain that sat through a very basic operations research workshop eons ago suspects this costs more than what you were doing before. Sigh.
Oh well, at least they taste the same (which, I still concede, is fabulous).