Bait and Switch
Posted: 11 December 2012 07:49 PM   [ Ignore ]
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Have you ever found that you discover that you like a new food product only to be disappointed a year or so later when they change the ingredients and flavor?

I used to love that Unilever product, “I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter”.  They did a few upgrades and it seemed even better. Then all of a sudden, they changed the ingredients claiming that it is a “new and improved” product but it lost all its flavor! It tastes like waxy cheap margarine. I wrote the company to complain and they just told me that their survey tests indicate that people preferred it. I can’t believe it’s not not butter! Now I see that the Wikipedia shows that there is a different British and American recipe. I’m wondering if it’s possible that we here in Canada had the British version and then got swapped to the American. Either way, I am disappointed and feel that this is no different than the street con, “Bait and Switch”.

The same occurred here with a product here called, “Zero” bar. Here the recipe and ownership was a Belgian company which made it a luxurious rich truffle-like chocolate that makes those Lindor Chocolates seem extremely cheap. Anyways, they came in three versions: white, dark, and milk chocolate. The outer chocolate was harder but it was so soft that they melt at just above room temperature. And for this reason, they only sold during winter seasons.
    All of a sudden one day I went into the one store that sold them here and was disappointed to find that the flavors were completely changed. The melting point was brought way above room temperature and the flavor lost all their nut flavoring that is customary with Belgian chocolate. So I sought the Internet to see what was wrong and found a notice in a European link to a purchase by Kraft to the small Belgian company. It noted that although they purchased the rights, they didn’t purchase the recipe!! What is funny is that my local store still sells it seasonally even though it is unnecessary. I am amazed that some people’s loyalty to a product can be tricked even when they change the flavor. I contacted Kraft and they denied the purchase.

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Posted: 11 December 2012 11:52 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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I agree about quiet changes.  There were a number of items I enjoyed many years ago, then I stopped buying them when they introduced transfats.  When that ingredient was found to contribute to artery clogging, many products proudly displayed “No Trans Fats”.  I looked at the labels and they had replaced them with palm and coconut oil, easily as damaging to arteries as transfats.  I still no longer buy them.

Occam

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Posted: 12 December 2012 09:31 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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That’s true. The problem I have with that though is that the companies response to the social cause is not actually for the sincerity to aid one’s health. It is actually cheaper to produce products with those changes. I find it moronic that there are individuals out there who complain that companies “super-size” things as if these companies want to give more for less money! I wouldn’t doubt that rhetoric like that is motivated behind the scene from big business themselves to encourage a stupider society. They jumped on the mentality of the “super-size” is too much here in Canada quickly by reducing quantities but keeping the prices the same!

It is technically possible to make a human food that has all the necessary and sufficient things we need without all the trans-fats and all just like we do with dog or cat food. Perhaps if we had that would you eat that? If it was about creating a healthier option but the option causes a significant change in the taste, then the company can give the new product as an option while keeping the old one as well.

In the long run, people do catch on. The Zero bars in that store stopped selling varieties from three to two last year, then to one this year, and the shelf space is now only reduced to one box as opposed to six originally.

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Posted: 12 December 2012 09:37 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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Technically, it’s possible to put all the vitamins, minerals, and calories we need for a day into a pill laced with appetite supressants.  But we don’t.  Because that would be awful.

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Posted: 12 December 2012 10:26 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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I find it even more annoying and deceptive when they sell a product in the same package but have reduced the amount you get ( coffee anyone?). Even worse when they put a dimple in the bottom of the jar and gradually increase the size of it taking away from the interior volume. They give all sorts of lame excuses but if they didn’t mean to deceive the consumer the dimple wouldn’t be on the bottom.

They should just raise the price and keep the amount the same but deception is better for business i suppose.

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Posted: 12 December 2012 06:12 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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I turned on to No Name (T) products in the Super Stores. But now because most people must be doing the same, they are using tactics to try to encourage people to purchase the brand names. One recent one is package comfort. On the margarine containers, they added a plastic seal under the lid that you must rip off first. But they super glue it and it is impossible to take it off without cutting around the edges and pealing it off usually getting margarine that got stuck on it all over you.

Another product they changed was the No Name chocolate syrup. At first, they had the powder version, which is excellent. Then they took it off the shelf, replaced it with the liquid version only, and the container’s pour spout is such that it is backwards and toward the handle! You know damn well that this couldn’t have been done by accident.

They are also getting better at timing the shelving and pricing on command due to instant communications and those membership cards that everyone thinks is created as a benefit for them. With good data, they know who and when particular people shop and alter the shelves and prices by the minute. I can see that they will soon move to some type of electronic displaying on shelves so they can do it quicker. At present, however, it is at least convenient for them to leave deal price tags with empty shelves or just have products with no pricing available.

It may understandable that business would do these things. But wouldn’t they realize that people would just lose more confidence in business even more for seeing them obviously using deceptive tactics? Or am I giving the rest of society too much credit?

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