alex mattingly

An Open Letter

An Open Letter to Kroger’s New Product Development Department

Kroger, I am a reasonable human being, but this shit has got to stop.

I’m a simple man with simple tastes, Kroger. You can keep your Oreos, and your Ragu, and your Velveeta. Give me the plain white box with the plain black letters that say SANDWICH COOKIES, SPAGHETTI SAUCE, or PETROLEUM BASED EDIBLE SPREAD.

I never met a store brand I didn’t like, and you guys were doing just fine. Fuck, sometimes I’d even shell out the dough for Kroger’s top end store brand, Private Selection, like if I had company or if my cat and I were catching up on Gilmore Girls maybe I’d get a pint of Private Selection Mascarpone ice cream because I am not above putting on airs, okay? So this is not about whether or not I like generic foodstuffs. This is about the goddamn abomination of a “chip” you put head to head against Tostitos Scoops.

Do you know how fucking long I looked forward to a generic brand of Scoops? Do you have any idea? Do you think I like shelling out five bucks a bag every time I want to increase my dip-to-chip ratio? When your “Cupz” hit the shelves, I wanted to believe it was a godsend, even though that “z” in the name stood out like a hooker “girlfriend” at a high school reunion. I was willing to overlook a stupid name. It’s a generic, right? You guys don’t have to have good names. You just have to give us enough information that we know what it’s meant to replace.

But you dickpunchers…

First of all, has anyone at Kroger ever heard of structural engineering? Because I guaran-goddamn-tee you that Tostitos has an entire engineering department. Those sons of bitches are probably hiring graduates straight out of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s graduate program, people who just spent the last seven years figuring out how to deliver heavier payloads into space with lighter rockets, and YOU fuckers think you’re going to get away with folding your plain round tortilla chip into fourths? Pull your shit together!

There are fucking lawsuits being filed over the shape of tortilla chips right now, but do you see any legal notices on your desk, Kroger? No? That’s because Cupz are BULLSHIT. Flatten out a Cupz, what do you have? Same old round tortilla chip. Flatten out a Scoop, and you know what shape you get?

You get a motherfucking hexagon.

Are you even listening, Kroger? They’re pulling out hexagon-shaping technology to maximize the bowl volume of their chips, and you bastards are folding your round chip into a shape that allows for less dip than your original design. Folding the round chip collapses all sides and renders it virtually useless!

Which, thank god, I guess, because Cupz are barely strong enough to hold what little dip they can gather. Did anybody in your development department pause to wonder how a Tostito’s chip could suddenly hold a dramatically increased volume of dip without breaking?

Of course they didn’t! What do I look like to you, Kroger? Do I look like an asshole? I must look like an asshole, because only an asshole wouldn’t notice that Tostitos Scoops are a thicker fucking tortilla chip. They didn’t just take an old product and stick it in a new mold, Kroger! They sought to improve the tortilla chip dipping experience, and those magnificent sons of bitches fucking did it.

Kroger, I am not a shill. I do not work for Tostitos, and I get no joy from being the one to tell you all of this. But get in the motherfucking game, Kroger. Time’s running out, and if you let Tostitos win this one, there’s no telling where it will stop.

 

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This piece originally appeared in Punchnel’s

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