Sunday, February 20, 2005

Vanilla Toothpaste

I know the advertisers have done their Research & Development but vanilla toothpaste? Why would anyone buy vanilla toothpaste, besides my wife? (She likes to try new stuff.)

Me? I just like to continue brushing away using my minty toothpaste. I�ve had spearmint toothpaste, peppermint toothpaste, and just plain mint toothpaste. I�ve kinda grown up around the idea that toothpaste should make your mouth feel, well, fresh and minty. If I wanted vanilla, I�d wash my meal down with vanilla ice cream. (And indeed I do at times but then always brush with minty toothpaste.)

This reminds me of the time Nabisco came out with their low-fat Oreos. I guess people want to continue on eating cookies with the delusion that they are low in fat but it seems ridiculous to me. Anyway, problem was, these new cookies didn�t dunk well. The average Oreo dunked in ice cold milk softens in about 10 seconds, give or take a few. The �New Improved Low-Fat� ones NEVER soften. This was intolerable. I wrote the company.

I explained that I came from a family of Oreo dunkers. My father dunked, I dunk, and I was attempting to train my son in the art of dunking. I explained that we�d even have contests as to who could finish off a row of cookies first. (Thus the need to avoid the melt-down I talked about before, spooning takes time, you'll lose.) I further told them that 10 seconds was the correct number of seconds for the cookie to soften without melting into the milk. (You don�t want to lose the cookie in the milk as this requires you to stop dunking and spoon it out.) I told them that their new cookie would not soften in milk regardless of the number of seconds left under the surface. I knew this the second I submerged my first low-fat cookie into the milk, there were no bubbles. The bubbles indicate that the cookie is absorbing the milk and these were obviously not!

They sent back a real nice letter with just a hint of condescension. They told me that their R&D Department had conducted many customer assessment studies, blah, blah, blah. Well I�ll tell you what, none of them did any dunking � that was clear.

They did supply coupons to purchase anything Nabisco. This gave me two more bags of original Oreos.

My point is that the R&D folks don�t always come to the right conclusion. Leave my cookies fat-some and make my toothpaste minty. If they�d just leave things as they are, we�d all have a lot less fretting to do!

Progress is a nice word. But change is its motivator. And change has its enemies.
--Robert F. Kennedy