This morning I woke up early – 5.45 am, tired and in my natural stupor first thing in the morning. It’s a time for an autopilot routine – not a time for a challenge. Still half-asleep – grumpy is my default behaviour.
Put on the kettle, brew the tea, reach blindly into the overstocked kitchen cupboard for the cereals. At least today nothing falls out and makes a mess on the floor. A familiar friend – the green, yellow and red of a Kellog’s Cornflakes box; brand new, unopened in great big print written down the side of the box CORNFLAKES. I turn the new box on its end and the first unwanted challenge of the day awaits. Where’s the little easy-to-open tab – can’t find it – can’t see it – damn it – they must have changed the packet design. They are always doing that! I am sure the box used to be easy to open. It’s no doubt on things like that that wars are started. Start off grumpy, hassle before you’re even out of your pyjamas; belligerent for the rest of the day. All thanks to Mr Kellogg!
Undefeated, I charge into battle and manfully tear open the tightly sealed down lid of the packet. Open the inside un-resealable airtight bag and at last the welcome crunch of crispy flakes fall into the breakfast bowl. The now forever opened box goes back in the cupboard, no doubt ready to fall out and become tomorrow morning’s natural disaster.
It’s too early for the daily papers, so I sadly decide to get the cornflake box out again and investigate how this change in Kellogg packaging policy had come about. Of course I have to be especially careful not to spill the contents in the process.
All the usual small print. The key ingredient details on the front – calories, sugars, fat, saturates and salt to the nearest tenth of a gram. Who on earth ever counts all these up through the day?
The amounts are also in percentages but strangely the totals only add up to 18%? Where have the other 82% gone? Am I being short changed?
Turn to the side of the box and there is an encyclopedia of further information about the ingredients, including vitamins I have never heard of and lots of small print I can’t read. I hope it’s not important!
The other box side is equally small print but I can just make out it’s the details of how to complain. I’ll bet Kellogg’s don’t get many complaints this way.
On the back of the box the marketing claims really go over the top. Apparently there is a “whole lot of sunshine in each and every bowl”. No health warning about ultraviolet light but you probably get wrinkles for free.
One final side to the box which I can only read by carefully holding the ripped open opposite end. It says in small print “to open, slide your finger under the tab and break seal to left and right”.