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A Letter to the Head Honchos

Dear Head Honchos of Food Prices and Packaging,

Because I purchase two carts of groceries a week, and send my husband after the things we forget or can't stuff in the carts, I consider myself an expert on this topic of food. I have noticed a trend, a correlation if you will. Prices go up, packages get smaller. And also, I have ingredient issues.

When I was a kid, my mom used coupons and filled two carts with groceries every week and the store owed her money. The packages were bigger. I think one box of Kraft Dinner fed our family of eleven. Now if we want to eat Kraft Spirals (and we do want to because they're tasty) it takes four boxes to feed seven of us, and if I use coupons, somehow, I end up paying more. I concede. You marketing gurus are way smarter than me.

About milk. Do you work with OPEC to set the price for a gallon of milk or does the price just come to ya'll when you're filling your gas tanks?

Barilla Plus Pasta. This hit the shelves a little more than a year ago. Awesome stuff. Noodles made with more than vitamin deprived white flour. Fiber, flax seed, chick peas all in a sixteen ounce box. Well, at least it used to be. Now I settle for the fourteen and a half ounces that you offer me. Did you notice that you neglected to reduce the price when you started putting less noodles in the box? Was this your plan all along? Get me hooked on the useful sized box and then reduce the contents to where I have to buy two boxes (for the price of two) in order to make a decent tuna noodle casserole.

100% Natural Prego Italian Sauce Flavored with Meat. Where's the beef? I see beef mentioned on the ingredient list right between corn syrup and vegetable oil but I can't find it in the jar. I asked my daughter to look for me, maybe I was missing it. Nope. "You mean there's supposed to be meat in this, Mama?"

So, I have some theories about this, how you can put meat on the label but not actually in the jar. Maybe you add beef extract? Essence of beef? Or perhaps, the smell of the meat that you stew for Chunky Campbells Vegetable Beef soup wafts over and fills the spaghetti jar with its aroma? At any rate, I have a beef about having to add meat supplements to your meat flavored sauce. And, by the way, is the sauce now in the smaller sized jars because of the smaller packages of Barilla?

And the half gallon of ice-cream we used to buy? Don't even get me started. You know what I'm talking about, you and your 1.75 quarts.

I'd put this in letter format and mail it off to you but you know, the cost of a stamp went up to forty-one cents last week. It's decision time. Food? Stamps? Food? Stamps? ya'll have connections with the post office too?


The Small Scribbler

P.S. If anybody would like to add an item to this letter feel free.


~Lee~ said…
LOL! I chuckled as I read this. It is so true. One thing that pops out to me (albeit not a true grocery item) is the "World Famous" chocolate candy bar used for fund raising. When I was a kid, it was this HUGE candy bar, only for $1. Now, while still $1, it has shrunk considerably. I don't have ounces to tell, but I KNOW it is waaaay smaller. And another beef I have with grocers is when I find something I like invariably they take it off the market. Case in point: Nabisco Bacon Thins. These are the BEST cracker I have ever put in my mouth. Not only can I not find them in my local grocery store, Nabisco doesn't even MAKE them. I know. I wrote to the company. Sigh. Then there's Milk chocolate graham Pop Tarts. So yummy. No more. Also, who decided to change the way they make Carnation breakfast bars?? They used to be awesome. Now, not only are they smaller, but they just don't taste the same. Oh well. I guess we're at the mercy of P&G and the like.
Hey Lee,

I found your blog yesterday! Glad you popped in.

I agree with the taking it off the market thing. A few months ago, I found ALL-BRAN crackers (I have this thing for bran) I think they were/are made by Nabisco. Love them. Anyway, they are no longer at our local Wal-Mart and I miss 'em.

And one more thing, I've never had a Nabisco Bacon Thin but they sure sound tasty! Now I'm hungry for bacon. Time to go make breakfast.

Jean 1 said…
So funny! Yesterday, as the kids and I were opening two boxes of Kraft Mac-n-cheese, I was telling them how we used to make one box for all of us (there were six kids) and still have enough left in the pan to have to put some we have to use two boxes to just have enough for my four kids and us parents. :(
L.L. Barkat said…
Most amusing.

I wonder if you'd like the book I'm reading right now... Animal, Vegetable, Miracle. She's got some interesting thoughts (if you don't mind a hint of sarcasm) on the food issues in America. But she speaks through stories of her own farm efforts and the community around her.

...if you don't mind a hint of sacasm...

Given the tone of this post, I don't think I'd mind sarcasm a bit. Animal, Vegetable, Miracle sounds quite interesting. I don't get into it here but I have HUGE issues with the way much of the food in the grocery store has been robbed of any nutritional value and good quality food is so expensive. I think there must be a larger correlation than we realize between the ingredients in our food and the health issues that we face in this country today. I'm thinking along the lines of mysterious allergies, behavior problems, skin ailments, asthma, as well as the well known issues of diabetes, obesity, and heart disease.

I just think this is too funny! Seriously-I am certain that certain stores also randomly change their prices. I get conditioned into buying the cheapest one and then when I decide to look it seems the price is not the cheapest anymore!
Love ya!
Etta said…
Don't forget Girl Scout cookies. While I'm sure they never had nutritional value, at least you used to be able to get a decent number of cookies for a $1! Now they cost $3 and you get approximately 7 cookies.
Carrien said…
I'm too busy laughing.

Here are my questions. Why must you put corn syrup into whole wheat bread? It's bread, not cake.

Why is it exciting to advertise that your brownies are made with real chocolate, shouldn't all brownies be made with real chocolate? And why are your made with real chocolate brownies also made with corn syrup and 20 other ingredients that I can't pronounce? What happened to butter chocolate sugar flour and baking powder? Just wondering.

And why is rustic and artisan peasant type food now more expensive?

and why is Breyer's ice cream, which used to have all natural ingredients "now creamier" which really means chemically altered?
Ehthak said…
Tee hee hee hee hee... that is SO true! Another thing: They keep sugary, cartoony, and fun things at the bottom of the isle's, so lil' kids can get 'em.

Laurie said…
Sooooooooo true. And please count me in on the "Consumers against the New Carnation Breakfast Bars" - BRING BACK THE OLD ONES!!!!! Man those were goooooooooooood. I still crave them and it's been yeaaaars, nay perhaps a decade. So sad.

I have to go to my food club to find milk under $3.00 a gallon anymore. Does my subdivision have any laws against me owning a cow? Hmm....
Amy said…
What about the pound of coffee that's now about 12 ounces? Or the "pound" of peanut butter?


L.L. Barkat said…
Yes, I often think that if GM crop pollen kills butterfly larvae on contact then what is that same GM food doing inside me? And of course, there are many other issues as you imply.

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