Sunday, March 30, 2008

But the box is a good source of fiber

I'm not exactly sure when my kids' addiction to French toast sticks started. In any case, it ends today.

A few months ago, the brand (Farm Rich) I usually buy Thing 1 and Thing 2 stopped appearing in my grocer's frozen food section. That bites. They were tasty, not too greasy and contained some general semblance of nutrition, at least compared to the entire line of Entenmann's donuts and danishes I grew up on.

So we tried Murry's Double Cinnamon French toast sticks. Seemed to satisfy the brood, all right. Then, one day, I read the nutritional information on the side of the box.

What follows is the actually e-mail exchange between me and a senior VP at Murry's:

Me: I've bought your French toast sticks for my kids many times. I notice the box says they are "vitamin fortified," but the nutrition panel lists the only detectable amount of vitamin or mineral is iron at 2% of the daily recommended allowance. Isn't the "vitamin fortified" statement (on the cover of the box) a bit misleading?

French toast guy: This correspondence is in regards to your inquiry regarding the use of the phrase "vitamin fortified" as it appears on our Murry's French toast items. The bread utilized in the production of the Toast is baked in accordance with our Murry's bread specification that states that the Enriched flour must be utilized. The term "enriched" means that when formulating the flour for the bread a standard component of vitamins is added into the process. When looking at the ingredient statement on the French toast carton, you will see that the first ingredient says "Enriched Flour" follow by parentheses that include a series of terms that define the enrichment. Each of those ingredients is a vitamin. Hence, the use of the term "vitamin fortified." However, when you look at the vitamin content in the Nutritional facts panel it read "0" for 3 of the 4 vitamins. Unfortunately, the cartons have been misprinted and should show the percentage of vitamins used in the enrichment of the flour. When we produce French toast cartons millions are printed at one time. There is a very long time frame before the next printing for us to correct the problem. Both the Quality Assurance and purchasing departments are aware of this error and have taken the necessary steps to correct. I thank you for taking the time to inquiry about our product and for being a customer for Murry's.

I've had to handle consumer complaints in a prior life. I've made mistakes (this blog possibly being the latest; once entering an Achy Breaky Heart dance contest being among the ugliest) and I'm willing to cut people some slack. It was a misprint on the box, so rather than drop a kajillion dollars and hike up the price of my kids' breakfast food, they are going let the supply of boxes run out and then put the ones with the correct info out there. They care! I feel the love!

But one thing bothered me about the French toast guy's reply. I mean, aside from the Random capitalization Of words his Company Thinks are Important. So, I wrote back.

Me: Thanks for your reply. So, what are the correct vitamin levels that will appear on the new boxes?

French toast guy: The percent of enrichment for each of the items would be 2% based on the final formulation.

To clarify, that means 2% of the recommended daily allowance of Vitamins A, C and D. And don't forget the 2% of iron currently listed on the box.

Kids, tomorrow, it's Crumb Coffee Cake and Rich Frosted Donuts for the lot of you. Chow down.

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