The Feeding Doctor on Pinterest

when “new and improved” is anything but, and tricky packaging

Posted by on Feb 14, 2013 in Blog Posts | 8 comments

Usually when a food company “improves” on something, I’m not impressed. I liked my less crunchy, less “tasty” TLC crackers. I can’t stand the new ones. When I told Hubby I didn’t like them, he tried one (he too hates wasting food) and said, “Well, these are just stale.” Alas, I had just opened them. Sigh. So long TLC crackers.

Or Raisin Bran “Crunch…” (At least I can still get the original, but once I brought home the crunch by accident…)

Which brings me to another pet peeve if you will allow. When the packaging looks so similar that you bring home something totally different than you want. A few examples:

  • Morningstar veggie sausage patty, Maple Syrup flavor looks the same as original. NOT the same. Yuck.
  • Oatnut bread, “high protein,” slightly different shade of green than Honey Oat. Too dense, dry, totally different.
  • Muir Glen or any other canned tomato that has added stuff in it, like Jalapenos or garlic, when I just want tomatoes. Make the cans look more distinct!
  • “Mexican” shredded cheese that is cheese with spices in it, versus the “Mexican” blend which is just a variety of shredded cheese…

How about you? Have you been fooled by similar packaging? Miss an original that was “improved?” Moms of picky eaters or children on the spectrum, have you been burned by this issue? Some kids with sensory issues are VERY particular about the brand, texture etc. Lesson I am learning is to slow down when I’m shopping!

Feeding tip: Try not to serve foods in their original packages to small children, or children on the spectrum or with sensory issues. Some kids get stuck on the packaging and demand the same foods from the same package. If you are starting solids, take the foods out of the containers and serve from your own bowls and plates.

P.S, sorry if I’ve “yucked someone’s yum” as my reader shared her favorite phrase…

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8 Comments

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  1. kisekileia

    When I was a kid, I could tell when a food had been changed even if I didn’t see the package.

    • katja

      I believe it! Still a good idea to try not to serve with the packaging. One less factor or issue for a child to get stuck on!

  2. closetpuritan

    I accidentally bought “Trop50″ instead of Tropicana orange juice for my boyfriend. I didn’t notice too much difference, but he was not happy with the taste of it.

    I agree with Twistie about adding little pictures of jalapenos, etc so people can tell at a glance which product is which, instead of making them look as similar as possible. Presumably if they’re introducing products like this, the additions are a selling point, so why wouldn’t they want to call attention to the difference instead of making it unobtrusive?

  3. Fatfairy

    My mother used to say that “new and improved” means it’s half as good and costs twice as much as the old kind.

  4. Twistie

    At least I find I’m not the only one who accidentally brought home tomatoes with jalapenos in them! At least Mr. Twistie could find a use for them, but I have severe (ahem) digestive issues with many hot peppers and jalapenos in particular. A very small amount can leave me communing with the porcelain god half the night. And how hard would it be to add a little picture of jalapenos or print the label in a different color or just make the words “with jalapenos and garlic” a little larger font so people who don’t want added stuff in their tomatoes can tell at a glance that it’s the wrong can, and people who want those things pre-added can easily see which are the cans that make taco night faster and easier?
    End rant.
    As for improvements that aren’t improving life for me… more often than not I find the improvement is to discontinue the product I liked best. Anyone else fondly remember Oceanspray Crancurrant? I freaking loved that stuff. And then one day it’s gone without so much as a by your leave so I couldn’t even stock up on it before it disappeared. Sigh.

  5. Tipper

    The tomato thing has gotten me more than once. I shouldn’t have to read the ingredients in order to be able to tell if I’m getting plain ingredients or not. And what’s with needing all that extra stuff, anyway? Buy some spices, people!

    The sheer quantity of what is available on grocery shelves makes it harder and harder to find the less-complicated, not-new-and-improved goods.