Thursday, June 23, 2011

My Open Letter To Nestle

Dear Nestle
To whom it may concern

I have been an avid user of your entire product range from my very inception. Yes most people would be consumers of a product from somewhere around their early childhood, but not me.
My mom swore heavily on Nestle products from way before I was conceived. The fact that she swore heavily in general has no bearing on my letter to you.
So when I was conceived she increased her Nestle Milk intake, thus continuing that miraculous mother-to-child transmission of nutrients from the time of Adam. Ok maybe not Adam because technically he didn't have a mom, but certainly Adam's first son, I think his name was Cane.
In the interest of getting to the point expeditiously I shall refrain from making jokes about how many Indians in Kwa-Zulu Natal named their kids Cane, mistakenly thinking that the Bible was referring to that vile drink of the same name.

At around 3 months of age I clearly remember my dear mom giving me my first delicious taste of Purity Cerelac Mixed Vegetables... hhmmm bleugh yummy.
Which kid doesn't have fond memories of washing down his delicious puree breakfast with an even more delicious glass of Nido Milk Formula? To this day I still associate every amazing milkshake flavour with my Nido Milk Formula. Of course my lactose intolerance around the age of 2 put an end to that fantasy, but you get the picture.

Years later (I'm now a ripe and frisky 30'ish ) and having gone through and lived through and had every one of your products that I consumed also having gone through me, you can imagine my complete and utter disgust shock and surprise when I walked into my favorite bulk-store (Makro) to purchase the 1kg tin of Nestle Hot Chocolate, carried it with pride and joy to the check-out counter, had the saleslady ring it up (this was my only purchase, and the closest Makro to me is approximately 150km away, but this is the loyalty I have to your brand, that I would drive this distance for a tin of Nestle Hot Chocolate)... so where was I? Aaah yes, the saleslady.
So she rang up my purchase as I handed her my Credit Card, and she politely asked me "Would you like me to put that on straight, budget, or should I add it to your homeloan Sir?"
I looked at her incredulously, and believe me it was an incredulous look because I had to go to to check if that word exists, and then confirm it's spelling! That's how incredulous my look was.

I couldn't believe that a 1kg tin of Hot Chocolate traded on the open market without the need for pimps and middleman and runners or dealers, at a shelf price of R65.95!
I shudder at the thought of what the black market price must be!
To use a newly found word again, that, Sir/ Madam, is an incredulous price to pay for 1kg of anything. (Except maybe crack cocaine, which clearly your product IS NOT, which I assume since there are no ingredients listed on the tin.)

A few pertinent questions sprung to mind whilst perusing with incredulity my tin of Nestle Hot Chocolate.
(Believe it or not I didn't once consult a Thesaurus in the construction of  that sentence!)

* Why are there no ingredients listed on your product?
* Why does the fine print include this very disturbing line : "Consume within 1 month of opening pack"?
At R65.95 a tin, you clearly expect me to consume 1kg of Hot Chocolate within a month, and with our winter lasting 3 months, that pretty much guarantee's you 3 sales from just 1 consumer every winter. Very clever Sir/ Madam, but I am onto you! I have convinced my neighbors on either side of me to buy a tin each, and that way we visit each other depending on who's opened their tin first. Three tins, three months, three happy neighbors. So the jokes on you.
* Why is some of the information on your product package written in French? At R65.95 a tin I would expect someone to come home and teach me French while making me Hot Chocolate, but I saw no such offer at my local Makro.
* Lastly, how do you justify this incredulously ridiculous exorbitant expensive outrageous steep unreasonable unwarranted excessive undue pricey dear overmuch unconscionable extortionate preposterous absonant (Did you know that last one is an actual word?! Wow, I love Thesaurus!) price of R65.95 for a 1kg tin of Nestle Hot Chocolate?

Please would you be so kind as to email me a response within seven days.
I say seven days because a lawyer once told me that, and I crapped my pants. I'm hoping for the same effect here................................ (Have you crapped your pants yet?)

I trust the serious tone of my letter is an indication of just how far I am willing to take this fight.
I have already recruited thousands  hundreds  tens a lot of consumer activists to help me in my cause.

At this point you must be wondering what my cause is.
Well I don't have demands really, because I'm actually appealing to your immense perceived sense of social responsibility. So in effect all I'm asking is that you take a good long hard look at your current pricing, and see if you can find it within yourself to lower your profit margins on just this one product and make it slightly more reasonably priced. I'm hoping for a price around the R40 mark. I think that's fair.

Failing this, I shall have no option but to consult with my team of advocates, lawyers, attorneys, judges, pimps and henchmen. Usually my mom would do battle on my behalf, but she's still recovering from a bout of food poisoning we suspect she got from a dodgy batch of Cremora. That's not your product, is it?
No I'm just kidding. My mom's fine. She loves her Cremora.
I have to keep telling her "It's not inside, it's on top!" :)
My wife told me the same thing on our wedding night. Except she didn't say the "It's on top!" bit. I still don't get why everybody found that so funny.

Ok Sir/ Madam, I have to cut this letter short as Telkom just phoned and said I'm almost at my Internet Cap.

Ps: My letter was never intended to scare or frighten you, as I would hate to think your share price could drop and your profits negatively affected by my humble one-page protest.
We can however make all this go away if you agree to send me a free case of Hot Chocolate.
Just a thought. Use it. Don't use it.
Gotta go.

Love always.