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Sunday, January 30, 2011

Post # 162 - Kraft and the Lost Golden Nutty Bar - 2-24-2010

Dear Kraft,

My son Alex is eight years old. Like all children, he is vulnerable to a society who buries its problems in ranch dressing and kicks perceived “failures” to its proverbial curb. When Alex was five, he scored extremely high on his early development assessment test (EDAT). Ever since then, elite Montessoris and private schools have been ringing our phone off the hook. It seems they want Alex, who is also very athletic and good looking, as the poster child for their learning institutions.

Last week, my son participated in the Little Debbie Michigan State Nine-And-Under Spelling Bee, held in Hartland, MI. In this competition, the best of the best compete for the Golden Nutty Bar. On the surface, the prize is just a Little Debbie Treat dipped in 10 karat gold, with a fancy nameplate (engraved in 16 point Times New Roman, all caps). But this prize represents much, much more—bragging rights, and resume’ fodder down the road.

The Golden Nutty Bar draws crowds, and shrewd businessmen love when it finds its way into their businesses. Therefore, it’s a ticket to free dinners at restaurants, free movie passes, the chance to cut ahead in lines at amusement parks and state fairs. The award is escorted around by a Little Debbie representative (legend has Little Debbie herself escorting the first one around). People wait in long lines to have their picture taken with it.

The spelling bee was going well—Alex survived several rounds. Easy words (they call them “cupcakes” in the Bee circles) like “taste," "thicken," and "busy” in the early rounds. Alex spelled intermediate words like “stamina," "craters," and "fantastic” in the middle rounds. It was here that 90 percent of the field was weeded out. In the final rounds, ten eager little spellers managed their way through words like Aborigines, conundrum, and Deuteronomy. The final word came down to two: Alex and an adorable little girl named Connie. Alex blew it. “Craft: K-R-A-F-T.”

It seems that Alex caved to mounting pressure and reverted back to his favorite Mac and Cheese. Sweet, innocent Connie, now the winner, made the “choke” gesture at Alex. Right there on Cable Access 23, for all of our friends, neighbors, and relatives to see. Alex has forever labeled as the Little Debbie Michigan State Nine-And-Under Spelling Bee Runner Up. Schools have stropped calling. Now he gets to look forward to people asking him what word he misspelled. Because that’s our society—“let’s not focus on the seventeen words you nailed, including orthodontia”.

Why don’t you spell your own name correctly? Why you even have a commercial jingle—a catchy one, where you mis-spell it for us. "Kay-Are-Aye-Eff-Tee!" Why? Why? Why? I realize you’d have to spend a little to update some billboards and websites, and packaging labels, but isn’t the right thing to do often the most expensive? Wasn’t Whitney Houston correct when she proclaimed that she believes “the children are the future?”



PS--Also, why do you short us about 25% of the noodles in your character themed Mac and Cheese? Does this offset the licensing? It seriously alters the noodle-to-cheese ratio. Alex won't eat the regular Mac and Cheese now. Is this part of some bigger plan?
Thank You for Contacting Us!

Hi Jerry,

Thank you for contacting and inquiring about the spelling of the word Kraft and the difference in weight for our KRAFT Macaroni & Cheese products.

Attached is our history and will explain why our name is spelled K-r-a-f-t.

Should you experience any difficulty opening the link(s) please copy and paste it into your browser.

Also, the reason that there is a difference in net weight between Shapes and Original is that the way Shapes are stamped there isn't as much room to fill the same amount of pasta in the same sized box. The amount of cheese sauce is the same

It was great hearing from you, and I encourage you to browse our website to take advantage of the great online food content that’s available 24 hours a day!

Associate Director, Consumer Relations

Subject: RE: Your Comment/Question Case ID: 20259656
Date: Sun, 28 Feb 2010 00:28:22 -0500


Thanks for the info.

I read the article about Mr. James L. Kraft, and his innovations with cheese. It sounds like he was the original Cheez Whiz. Was this product named in honor of him?

It sounds from your character Mac and Cheese explanation, that the box size is more important than flavor consistency (character box versus standard box).

Also in the article, I noticed that Phillip Morris owns Kraft. Friends of mine work in the auto industry, and they are strongly encouraged to "drive Big 3 automobiles". Are Kraft employees encouraged to smoke up?

All of the information that you provided was great and helpful. Thanks again.

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