Thursday, October 15, 2009

New Lunchables Flawed

I bought my 8yr old several of the new OSCAR MAYER LUNCHABLES SUB SANDWICHES. Surely by now you've seen these new Lunchables on the shelves at grocery stores or Wal-mart. Specifically I bought 5 of these to cover her lunches for this week: 3 Ham plus American and 2 Turkey plus Cheddar. This was the first time we had tried this new Lunchable product. When she came home from school Monday she said she did not like her lunch at all. I asked what was wrong and she said the sub sandwich was good (she took the ham version yesterday) but the water was horrible. I asked her to explain and she said the water plus Kool Aid Single was "bitter" and "made my mouth turn like it was sour."

I could not figure out what could be wrong because we regularly buy Kool Aid singles and have a box of the tropical punch in our pantry right now. She drinks Kool Aid singles often and knows how to properly pour the contents into the bottle of water and to be sure to shake it up well. She absolutely did not want me to send her another lunchables to school the next day. I certainly did not want them to go to waste considering I had bought 5 at one time so I opened one of the Turkey plus Cheddar versions for my own lunch Tuesday. I took one sip of the water plus Kool Aid mixture and nearly spit it out!

Then I realized what the very obvious problem is: the Kool Aid Singles packet very clearly states "Add to 8 fl oz glass or bottle of water" but yet in the Lunchable the bottle of water included is only 6.5oz! Of course it's bitter--there's too much Kool Aid mix for the amount of water provided.

And please don't tell me that the company expects children to know not to pour the entire contents of the Kool Aid packet into the bottle of water to compensate for the lack of enough water to properly dissolve the Kool Aid. I also find it hard to believe that no one taste tested this before production since this would have been a very easy fix just to use a slightly larger bottle of water to add the needed extra 1.5 fl oz.

I want to be very clear that this is in no way to defame Lunchables, Oscar Mayer, or Kraft at all.  To the contrary I just want other moms to be aware of this problem so that their children aren't stuck having to drink something that tastes nasty with their lunch.  I have bought Lunchables for years and will probably continue to do so because they are so convenient in a pinch but I am very disappointed that such an obvious problem was overlooked.  ESPECIALLY in this day an age when there are so many opportunities to make use of the different testing communities to test products vigorously before they hit the market. 

I wrote Kraft foods (parent company of Oscar Mayer) to alert them about the design flaw.  I received the automatic response first and then I recieved a response from a person  who's title is "Associate Director, Consumer Relations" saying "I appreciate your patience; I need some additional time to research your inquiry. I'll contact you again as soon as possible."  I'm waiting....

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