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Monday, November 22, 2010

Post # 152 - Nestle Aero - Why Are The British So Angry At Us? 7/29/2010

Dear Nestle,

Why are you being so difficult?

People in the United States love your delightfully textured Aero candy confections. Why do you make us fly on jets to the UK, and smuggle them back in our drawers, only to find that they’ve melted when we’ve been “let back in”?

Why don’t you make these in the United States? It comes down to dollars and cents. People in the US love Aero Bars. You could make an even larger fortune.

I realize that you manufactured Aero Bars in the 1980’s. We were all too busy playing Pac Man and solving Rubik’s Cube. Have you seen us lately? We’re a nation of large people. We market Kit Kats as a morning coffee accompaniment, why not Aero Bars?

Let’s cut the crap. You’re still bitter about the Revolutionary War. The Declaration of Independence. The fact that your biggest rock groups came over here to avoid taxes and party with our groupies and hippies. Which is it? Or is it all of the above?

You’re holding back. We gave you fluoride. It’s your turn to give back.

What do you say?


002758954A 29 July 2010

Dear Jerry

Thank you very much for your email. Unfortunately Aero is not currently exported to the USA. Whilst sales do well here, consumer research shows that the amount of interest would not justify the high demands required in production to ensure the good value consumers deserve.

Our experience of how brands perform in various markets suggests that consumer tastes can vary considerably between different countries.

Because of this, Nestlé USA Inc are responsible for the import and distribution of our products in the USA. Their contact details are: Nestlé USA Inc800 North Brand BoulevardUS - GlendaleCA 91203Telephone Number: 001 818 549 6000Fax Number: 001 818 549 6330

Alternatively, you may like to try the following Websites that provide British goods to consumers abroad:

We are sorry we cannot be of further help, but hope that you can appreciate why we took this decision. Thank you again for taking the trouble to contact us. We are grateful for the interest you have shown in our company.

Yours sincerely
Consumer Relations Executive
Consumer Services
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Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Post # 151 - My Follow-up With Ron Colangelo Regarding # 11 - 11/4/2010

Last year, I wrote a note to Mr. Ilitch, suggesting that he consider retiring Sparky Anderson's # 11.  Behind the scenes, their relationship was very strained.  I say "no excuse."

Ron Colangelo responded, stating that there are no plans, yada yada.  I warned him--if Sparky dies, it's going to look really bad to a loyal fan base.   Sparky passed away last week, and much of the grieving has transformed to anger toward the Illitches.

Below is my "I told you so."
Subject: RE: Sparky Anderson
Date: Thu, 4 Nov 2010 21:48:29 -0400

Dear Mr. Colangelo,

Dick Howser, Whitey Herzog, Earl Weaver, Danny Murtaugh.  Managers with weaker resumes, whose organizations recognized them by retiring their numbers.  And justifiably so.

With the unfortunate news of Sparky Anderson's death, a city is mourning. 

With all of the grieving, the discussion turned to the Tiger Organization.  I don't claim to be a prophet.  Anyone could have seen it coming.   On two radio stations today, for much of the day, the discussion revolved around the Tiger outfield.  Not "which free agent can Dave sign?".  The discussion revolved around statues and numbers, and missed opportunities.  Fans and broadcasters who normally argue about Michigan/Michigan State, Osgood, and Inge, were unified.  Anderson's number should be on that wall.  And it should have happened while he was alive.

I told you so.

I'm no sportswriter.  I'm a fan.  An objective fan who understands that things happen behind the scenes.  Maybe there was a disagreement about managing scabs, or about choosing the wrong baseball cap for a stupid plaque.   For a stupid plaque in a farcical wing of a nice museum that seems to pick inductees as much based on how many pinstripes are in their uniform as on performance. 

Fans don't care that Sparky refused to coach scabs.  I actually respect that--I refused to watch it.  Sensible fans understand that Sparky had to make a decision about his plaque.  Get over it.  It all seems petty now.  Fans see no statue or number out there in left field.  Fans are left to draw their own conclusion.  Fans are upset.

In your note below, you mention that Sparky has been part of some celebrations along with other Tigers in the past.  No offense to these guys, but apparently, he's in the same league as Ron LeFlore, and Denny McClain.  I think we can all agree that Sparky deserved a little bit more than the average Tiger.

This makes Mr. Ilitch look really bad.  It's really a shame that you couldn't honor him the way he deserved, before he died.  Whatever the underlying reasons, it's a real shame. 

This man gave a lot back to the community.  The Tiger organization should be embarrassed.


Jerry Herman

PS - The Reds retired his number five years ago.  I bet they feel good about that decision.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Post # 150 - War on Celiac: Kellogg is Too Lazy - 5/15/2010

Dear Kellogg,

Imagine being told by a doctor that your body can no longer handle most of your favorite foods. Pizza, beer, sandwiches, most crackers, pretzels, pastries, and most restaurants that don’t have the word Chinese in the title. All gone forever. This is the case for one out of 130 people. Large companies decide whether it makes fiscal sense to cater to their loyal consumers. Most don’t really change anything.

Several of my patients have celiac. This means that they can’t have ANY gluten. By all of my research on the internet, you offer exactly three gluten-free products—Eggo Syrup, Yogo’s, and Fruit Snacks. I get really annoyed when you send them tome, to ask them to consult their physician, regarding Rice Krispies (which contain Malt Flavoring) and Corn Pops (which contain wheat starch). Any physician worth his salt is going to say “NO”.

General Mills has five types of Gluten-Free Chex: Rice Chex, Corn Chex, Chocolate Chex, Cinnamon Chex, and Honey Nut Chex. They seem to get it.

I realize that this probably means separate, gluten-free facilities and supply chains, and that this probably seems like a lot of work.

Keep this in mind. My mom has Celiac. There were times in the early 1980’s when cereal prices jumped. People were struggling to find and keep jobs. Putting food on the table was difficult. When many switched to big bags of generic cereal, my mom stuck with Kellogg. Because she believed in supporting local (Michigan) businesses.

Now it’s your turn to return the favor.


Dr. Jerry

From: Kellogg Consumer Affairs
Subject: Consumer Affairs 020932220A
Date: Fri, 4 Jun 2010 -0500


Thank you for contacting us to request information about our products that do not contain gluten.

Thank you so much for sharing the story of your mother. I'm very pleased to hear that you have been long time Kellogg's® Consumers!

Having several family members myself with celiac disease and I can understand your concern for more gluten free products.

Kellogg is aware that many consumers need special dietary foods, especially those with celiac disease. While we do not currently offer any cereal or waffle products that are formulated to be gluten free, this is an area that we are exploring. I apologize for any inconvenience this has caused!

We do offer a couple of products free from gluten-containing ingredients besides the items that you mentioned. These include Kellogg's™ Special K™ Protein Water Mixes and Kellogg's™ Special K™ Protein Shakes.

Please be assured that your comments and desire for gluten free products will be passed along to our food developers and nutritionists.

Consumer Specialist
Consumer Affairs

To: Kellogg Consumer Affairs
Subject: RE: Consumer Affairs 020932220A
Date: Sun, 6 Jun 2010 -0400

 Dear Nikki,

Thanks for the response.  As someone with relatives that also have Celiac, you can probably understand my frustration.  Companies shouldn't be telling people that "Depending on gluten sensitivity, products X, Y, and Z might be suitable for persons on a gluten restricted diet".  Celiac isn't a gluten restricted diet.  It's a gluten-free diet.

Companies don't push products on diabetics that "only have a little sugar".  Celiac should be treated with the same sensitivity.  As more and more people are diagnosed with this disease, the demands for gluten-free products will also increase.  In an industry focused on market share, Kellogg is tied for last place.  And as one who tries to support Michigan companies, this pains me to see.

Dr. Jerry
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