Wednesday, March 12, 2008

A letter from a hopeful customer


Dear Quaker Rice Cakes,

Last night after an exhausting day spent mothering, nurturing, feeding, and driving my three children to school, scouts, ballet, and home again, I was tired and hungry.

I am trying (somewhat eagerly) to lose a few pounds. I recently picked up some of your delicious-looking rice cake snacks at my local Sam's Club. I bought them in bulk (which was a gamble on my part), trusting them to provide me with a tasty low-calorie snack. I took a risk, knowing that if nobody in the house liked them, we would be stuck with a large case of rice cakes.

And we don't have a dog to feed uneaten snacks to.

So while foraging through my pantry like a hungry raccoon, I saw two viable options with which to curb my nighttime craving. One, was a stale, half-eaten package of Oreo cookies (not really a good choice, I know); and the other was one of your rice cake snack bags. Really wanting the Oreos, but yet not wanting to find myself yelling at the scale in the morning, I resisted temptation and went with your rice cakes. The turning point in this decision came when I noticed a pretty little green rectangle in the top left corner of the bag, shouting out to me that the entire bag contained only 60 calories.


So I dug in. And I found myself really enjoying the crispy, crunchy, slightly chocolately snack. I thought to myself, "Damn! I need to buy these again." And you must know that I rarely swear in my mind.

Usually it's out loud.

I got about halfway through the package and started reading the bag. You know, because sometimes when snacking, one likes to have something to read. And I noticed, to my shock and horror, that the back of the package claimed that I was not consuming 60 little, itty-bitty calories; but that I was actually eating 110 calories.

I almost fell off the couch, I was that disturbed.

But I composed myself, and double checked.

Then I did fall off the couch.

The back side of the package DOES in fact claim that one entire bag of the mini-rice cakes contains 110 calories.

And yes, I am aware that sometimes tricky companies like to make you think you're eating less by posting the calories for a serving size, and there are often multiple servings in a given bag. But not yours. Yours says, one package, 110 calories (on the back). And 1 bag, 60 calories (on the front).

So which is it?

I have a solution for you. Since you seem to be unsure as to which is the correct number of calories, I offer this negotiation. How about we just go with the 60 calories then? Let's round down this time, instead of rounding up.

Because this little-too-late discovery put me in a bit of a spot. I had already eaten at least half of the bag. But I was already so addicted to the crunchy sweetness that I found myself unable to put down my half-eaten treat. And so I finished the entire bag, all the while praying they were truly the lower number.

So please, dear friends at Quaker, let's call it 60 calories. Just for me. And my scale. Do this, and we can part friends. Do it not, and I will be unable to buy this product again. Which would cost your company at least like ten dollars a month.

And just think, with my new 60-calorie best friend at my side, I could live to be well over 100, which gives me at least 66 more years as your loyal customer, netting you a minimum of $8,000 over my lifetime.

I think it's worth it. And I know you'll agree.

Your hopeful new friend,

Christie

50 comments:

Annie said...

Hilarious. A little truth in advertising glitch, no?

I love the chocolate chips on the front of the package. Mmmmmm...chocolate. But surely there are no choc chips in the package? Even at the higher caloric choice?

AND I think they will net much more than $8000 if your blog network hops on the quaker rice cake bandwagon. Right, readers?

Kelly A. said...

I hope you send that letter for real. What a rip! I hope the scale enjoyed the rice cakes this morning too.

gab said...

Stie,
Don't you know that ALL foods--when eaten alone at night--have NO calories?!
It's like "even-ing out the rows in the brownie pan"...NO calories, just a friendly public service.
This is why I am so skinny.
Gab

KathyLikesPink said...

Man! What a shocker! I felt something similar after it came out that Pirate's Booty had WAY more calories than they put in their ingredients listing. Only I had been eating Pirate's Booty for a couple of months already.

Man, there oughta be a law. Oh wait...there is...

girlymama said...

Seriously! Write to them!

You'll at least get some free rice cake coupons out of it!

Ashlee said...

I've never actual seen blatant lying on packaging like that before though! Holy cow! But, you have to admit that 110 calories is still better than the amount you would have consumed eating the rest of the Oreos. {I assume you would have eaten the rest of them because that's what I would do....stale or not}

Anonymous said...

This is disturbing!

Now I know why I weight 10 pounds more.

The lies.

The temptation.

The evil of marketing.

I need a moment.

Kelly S.

Jessica said...

I'm a round-downer. Totally.

Which is why I'm 12 lbs more than I want to be...always.

Amanda said...

I wish it was true that calories eaten alone were 0. That would be nice. Now, I totally think that you should send a copy of this post to Quaker. And keep us posted on the reply. I'm very curious. And suddenly very hungry for chocolate.

Becky said...

What THE??? I have never seen such a thing! I would write to them, get some free snacks.

DanandCindy said...

If I told you that a triple-bacon cheeseburger only had 30 calories, does that make it ok?

Lauren said...

You are so, so, so, hilarious and great fun to read! I loved the, "foraging through my pantry like a hungry racoon".

Perhaps, your letter should include a threat to sue...then, I am sure they will comply and make those little crunchy babies a lot less in caloric intake.

Seriously, you are so funny!

Jane @ What About Mom? said...

yes, suing is definitely the way to go.

also, their peanut butter w/ chocolate chips flavor is the best, though it might only come in the regular size cakes. yu-um.

Bridget said...

Yes, send them a letter. Maybe not this one, but do send a letter. You will get oodles of coupons. I had a friend in college who would do this. He got enough free food from his letters that his diet only needed to be supplemented with beverages. No joke.

Heeere's J-dude: said...

You: Quaker Rice Cakes
Me: Boxes upon Boxes of Girl Scout cookis.

Remember - there is a reason I don't weigh myself!

The UnMighty said...

Guess you should have gone with the Oreo's. At least they're up front about their unhealthiness.

The UnMighty said...

Guess you should have gone with the Oreo's. At least they're up front about their unhealthiness.

The UnMighty said...

I accidently published the last comment twice. But that's obvious now.

The UnMighty said...

So obvious in fact, it makes me wonder why I published two more comments.

The UnMighty said...

I feel so stupid.

The UnMighty said...

Could you just forget I was here at all?

andrea said...

i seriously hope you send this to the company. i write disgruntled letters ALL THE TIME and i get free stuff for it all the time. my last was some hickory farms smoked sausage. my next will be northwest airlines ticket reimbursement. companies LOVE letters like this. seriously. so much so, that they give you free stuff.
i'll expect the follow up post within a month. it should include pictures of you and 60 calories worth of rice cakes.

Melanie said...

I looked at their website and it says 60 calories also...so, two out of three works for me! Eat to your heart's content:) And please write the letter, send the (empty...) package as evidence and obtain free stuff, I'm confident you will, I do it all the time too.

Lindsey said...

Oh, stie, how you make me laugh! (Thanks for your vote too, I think green, overwhelmingly) I love those rice cakes! Esp. the cheddar ones... then I really feel like I am cheating... until I eat the whole LARGE bag.... then I KNOW I am cheating! :)

Michael said...

I can't believe that! What were they thinking when they packaged those?

Wendi said...

You. are. hysterical.

Here is my suggestion. Throw out the Quaker thingys. They were deceptive. Don't support them.

Instead, go get a medium size piece of cardboard. Drizzle 1 Tbsp. of hershey's chocolate syrup over it. Eat!

The caloric intake will only be 50 and the taste will be exactly the same!!!

Summers Camp said...

May I quote a donkey in saying "Hee-ha!" We may have different spellings of the phrase, but I'm pretty sure it means the same thing: hilarious. *B

calibosmom said...

Cheddar Cheese all the way! I eat the WHOLE "60" calorie bag and only feel bad when I am completely bloated an hour later. Don't you know damn is a bible swear and it's ok?

Lisa @ Take90West said...

Love those. Something about eating rice cakes makes me feel so fit and healthy. I like the chocolate, but all my kids think the Ranch ones are the best.

Emy5 said...

Those Quakes are good. I tried some caramel type flavour at the weekend, and ate way too many. We bought a jumbo bag! Maybe we both better stick to veggies.

RobynandJoe said...

How did you have Oreos in your cupboard long enough to go stale? You are so funny. Thanks for the laugh...keep us posted on what you hear from your friends at Quaker.

Queen B said...

That is so funny!!

I'll have to try them...rounding down, of course.

Thanks for the laugh!!!

Jenibelle said...

It's a bummer that flavored cardboard has any calories at all. Maybe they were taking the fiber calories and subtracting them? Is there fiber in chocolate? If so, I should have no problems.

Jenibelle said...

I'm getting obsessive with this problem...maybe there is 60 calories in the rice cake and 50 in the chocolate? No. Go with the obvious typo on the back of the package. The front is always correct. You need to write them quickly, you might be able to get a years' supply out of this.

Kimberly and Devon said...

Despite the shocking, actual, amount of calories you consumed, it was still a much healthier choice than oreos. I start eating oreos and then forget how many I've eaten, and before I know it, I've eaten the entire row.

i'm kelly said...

i've never tried these, i might just have to pick up a bag. & i hope you really sent this letter off... they've got some serious typos going on.

Hollyween said...

Soooo funny!
I hope you really did send in THAT EXACT same letter to the company. Hey, e-mail it and give us their response. I'm interested. Direct them to your blog.
That's false advertising, man!
I had stale oreos today. My scale is not happy. So what did I do today? Bought some Ben and Jerry's for the weekend because I plan to starve myself until Saturday. Do you think I'll lose?

Holly said...

Hello there Rocky (as in racoon of course)!

That is highly distubing! They need to get their stories straight--but more in the 60 calorie camp.

Does this flame the fire of the Great Pet Debate? Every home needs a garbage disposal with a tail.

Diane said...

Geez...I think I have some of those in my cupboard. I was thinking either those or the Skinny Cow ice cream sandwiches. Now that really makes you stop and think about the skinny cow thing doesn't it? Have you seen a skinny cow? If you think the 60 calorie thing was deceptive.......

Emily said...

I'm indignant! (But I'm sure it's the 60 cals--it just couldn't be the other, it just couldn't!)

Purple CJ Diva Duckie said...

Well, what a plug for these little snacks. Never heard of them, so you caught my interest!

You are a hoot! I loved this post and agree with everyone else...send the letter with the empty bag of course!

I will though hang off on purchasing them until you get them straightened out about how many calories are in their little bag.

After all, 50 calories is 50 calories, which you could use enjoying a kiwi, a small apple, or an apricot!

Gee looking at it like that, I think I would rather have the rice cakes!

Holly said...

Write the letter. Definitely. And then maybe they'll send you more...

2happy+2 said...

Do what I do... Ignore the bag all together. Pour them in a bowl. It looks better(especially when it is diet food) plus you don't see the nutrition info. If I am going to eat it I am definately going to enjoy it!! Do send the letter. I would love to see what their response is.

Cara said...

remember the seinfeld with the frozen yogurt? They kept eating the fat free stuff and got FAT!!! Same thing here girly! Write the letter and get some free stuff! We should all write in and see how many of us can complain and what we get in return!

Melain said...

Those dirty dogs! *lol*

Darilyn said...

I can't believe they had two different calorie counts. I wonder what's up with that? It makes me want to email them!

Mique (as in M-i-c-k-e-y) said...

Now that you got that off your chest, I am patiently waiting for your next dessert recipe. Thank you in advance.

Family Adventure said...

I'm curious...which is it, 60 or 110? Did you figure it out?

As for misleading advertisement...do not get me started. Ack!

Heidi

crystal said...

If you eat when nobody SEES you, there are no calories in said food. Duh. Where've YOU been since 7th grade?

Motherhood for Dummies said...

I love those. My favorite are the apple cinnamin ones! But those save me. If I am ever hungry I just grab a couple and move on out of the kitchen and finish whatever I was doing :)