Cereal Packaging

One of the best parts about having a blog is that you can rant and rave about anything and everything.  You, as the reader, can then choose to think I’m a nut-job, or smile and agree with me.

Today’s topic: Cereal Packaging.  I love cereal, all kinds of cereal.  If I was stranded on an island, and I had to choose one food to live off of it would be cereal.  It’s also one of the few products that I’m extremely brand loyal to (that’s marketing speak for I actually give a damn what brand I buy at the store).  For cold cereal I like Oatmeal Squares, Honey Bunches of Oats, and the newly rediscovered Grape Nuts (newly discovered by me, anyhow).  For hot cereal I like good old-fashioned Quaker Oats (back in the day when I didn’t care about my diet I ate the instant Maple Brown Sugar and Cinnamon Sugar flavors), McCann’s Quick Cooking Irish Oatmeal, and Cream of Wheat. I love all of them equally (Okay, well, actually the Quaker Oatmeal is at the bottom, but it’s a high bottom), and I would truly, and do, eat one of them every single day.  Sometimes, I have cereal twice in one day.

What do all of these cereals have in common you ask?  Because each and every one of them have the same God-awful packaging. In their defense, some of their outside packaging varies slightly from product to product.  Some of the boxes you can actually open without tearing to shreds the little flap they provide to help keep the cereal fresh.  The other boxes, like McCann’s Quick Cooking Irish Oatmeal, it is literally impossible to open that box without ripping the top completely to the point of not being able to re-close it.  Seriously, McCann’s, what kind of crazy glue are you using? Other brands, like Grape Nuts, you can open the box without ripping it, but then the box for some reason still won’t close again so you have to use a rubber band to keep the box closed.

Then we come to the plastic packaging inside the box, and this is the shit that truly drives me crazy.  The plastic packaging is always the same no matter what you’re buying.  They are all created such that you have to use two hands to pull the plastic apart at a seam that has been created I can only assume for the user until it opens (or spills all over the floor whichever comes first).  But here’s the rub, the fucking plastic hardly ever opens perfectly.  What is more likely to happen is that you pull apart the plastic, it rips, and from then on when you pour the cereal out of the box it gets everywhere.  The cereal falls on the ground, gets stuck in the box but outside the plastic, or it just won’t pour correctly.  Last week I was having Grape Nuts and because the cereal had gotten outside the plastic but remained inside the box, every time I went to pour into my bowl more spilled all over the floor. My son said to me, “Mommy why do you keep pouring the cereal on the floor?”  Good question kid.

What I want to know is why don’t cereal companies put their cereal in zipper top bags like rice and sugar companies have started to do.  I know, I know, it’s more money, but come on, you’re killing me over here.  I have to deal with this every day of my life? I have to wake up to poorly poured cereal for the rest of my days, and packaging that is absolutely useless?  It’s gotten to the point that when I buy the McCann’s cereal I immediately take it out of the box, throw it away, and put the cereal inside a Ziploc bag, or if I’ve been lucky enough to salvage the plastic packaging, then I close it with a rubber band.

So, if anyone out there knows any of these companies, can you put in a good word for me.  Please, for the love of God, redo your packaging.


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