“Granola Wars” 2

My struggle with packaging and in particular breakfast cereals, continues.  (See my earlier blogs in the “archive” on Breakfast Exercise dated 6th September 2011, 27th March 2011 and 20th February 2011 and Granola Wars dated 19th June 2011).

This morning it was all the fault of that well respected high street brand Sainsbury’s.  It was a lovely morning – I woke up refreshed and ready for a new day – I wasn’t looking for a fight.  Then I picked up a brand new packet of Fruit Muesli.  Sainsbury’s have obviously been watching the TV Programme “Dragons Den” and seen Theo Paphitis dismiss new entrepreneurs whose products he can tear apart with his bare hands.  Sainsbury’s are made of sterner staff – they must have resolved that nobody is going to ever open their products.  How about a new slogan “everlasting muesli – best before 2061!”  50 years is about the time it will take you to open this product.

Before going any further and having learned from my previous encounters with cereal packets, I first read all the writing on the outside of the bag, with the aid of my magnifying glass, which I now always carry around with me in my pyjamas to deal with early morning small print.  On the packet was the usual helpful information:-

  • A breakdown per 50 gramme serving of all the nutrients to the nearest tenth of a gramme – do I really need this first thing in the morning?
  • The ingredients contain sultanas, raisins, dates, bananas, apricots, apple and SULPHUR DIOXIDESounds like it will be good for clearing the drains!
  • As a “footnote”:-) on the packet I am told that Sainsbury’s recommend at least 30 minutes of brisk walking every day – they clearly haven’t factored in the energy you have to use in opening the packet, otherwise they would know you have none left for walking!
  • The one thing I was in need of was some simple hints on HOW TO OPEN THE PACKETIt would not surprise me if it is written in invisible ink.  Just a little “tear here” or a “cut along the dotted line there” or best of all a “pull the tab to open”.  But oh no that would be too easy – Sainsbury’s like to give you a challenge in the morning.

I know I could cut it open with a pair of scissors but that can’t be right – how would I re-seal it?  Surely 30 servings are meant to last for at least a month.  So I guess I have to resort to the usual tug of war – me versus the packet.  I’ve been there before but this packet is like trying to tear a telephone directory in half.

E     V       E           N            T            U              A                L                  L                   Y

I win – the packet breaks and I manage to spill 1 kilogram of muesli all over the kitchen floor!

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6 Responses to “Granola Wars” 2

  1. Maureen o'Neill says:

    John, I loved this article and the humour it contained and most of all I was full of sympathy. This was of course only a cardboard or paper package and I know how difficult that can be. Even more I loathe all heat sealed products – even getting a new ball point papermate from its package was a desperate encounter – and why does such an object need a heat sealed covering?? As I believe you once wrote nearly all packaging is unecessary. One question I would like to know – Who cleared up the spilt muesli?

  2. The teeth are not what they were, the fingers not so nimble, and the mind a blank looking for the tools and implements to help undo, cut, broach a package, and those hand grip like tools for undoing jars of preserves and sauses. It is far easier to find a restraunt cafe. We need a 24 Hour establishment selling all day breakfasts dinners and teas, with a little music to help the falle over water and the pills go down, that help us as we get to the end of another day of frustrations?

    • John T says:

      In Texas, we discovered many years ago that opening the Cheerios box is easy, the contents are beneficial for all that ails a fella and the sugar one sprinkles over it liberally (a word we in Texas use with great reservation) flies in the face of the health-nuts that overly abound here on planet earth.

  3. I reflect on the troubles one might have with modern packaging, and my mind drifts aimlessly to old age, and my ultimate demise. I live in a flat, a box if you like but a very pleasant box in which I am totally immersed. When I am in the kitchen I can wave out to my passing neighbours and friends, and yet when on my balcony I can also hail everyone that passes.
    I live in a retirement village with support staff, managers and office staff, and among a group of some 350 neighbours and friends. Some like to pass the time of day others prefer their own company, and then also among the melee are those whom I speak too, but with whom I have no common interests. A community as one would possibly say?
    In my box/flat I can feel secure, and in the village complex in general secure and at ease with myself. What you may ask has this to do with modern packaging? A lot I would answer, I am in a caring community, and cared for, I have only to pick up the telephone, and I am in contact with anyone in the village community, and if I feel ill or frightened by something I do not understand every room has a pull cord connected to a special telephone unit ‘Hands free’ which connects me to a member of the care and support team.
    In brief I am cocooned, wrapped up and protected from the outside world and its ways, and yet I have my independence. Entry to the village is by key card. All though it can have its problems, the complete system of villagers/support and Office staff working most days, and some persons is around for each 24 hours of the day I feel security which I now take for granted, is not a given to each of the older generation living under different circumstances.
    So while one may huff and puff at the breakfast cereal packaging, or other types of groceries packaging or items one buys retail’, are you now that package that wants to be free? Or do you enjoy your cocoon, I wonder?
    Answers on a postcard please to the Extracare Charitable Trust.

  4. My Moll is interested in your packaging wars, and wonders where have you gone in your tight jeans, crocodile shoes and wetted ‘T’ shirt, and a DA hairstlye? She has great amusement when I discuss these blog pages with her, and your image comes to the fore, as like you I suspect arthrities and lack of dexteritity, and the infernal foil wrap in bullet proof plastic create many a problem in the everyday events in the kitchen. John you have your fan club, and at least 1 MOLL supporting your quest, Go forth young man and multipy.

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