March 30, 2009

Ripping into baggies


We need to talk. For some reason you've been putting progressively lower-quality bags in your boxes of crackers. Teddy Grahams, Nilla Wafers and Ritz Bits Sandwiches all refuse to be opened for at least five minutes before finally giving way with a giant tear down the side. Especially those Ritz Bits Sandwiches.

I know times are tough, but this has been going on for several years. First you couldn't breach the bag inside a box of Ritz Bits Cheese Sandwiches without splitting it down the side. That was circa 2006, when the economy was still strong.

Plus you still have a few brands that know how to bag'em. Triscuit bags still generally open properly, for instance. True, they don't pop apart with ease, but the top of the bag does part at the seams, allowing for optimal rolling up and the preservation of fresh crackers.

Don't tell me to get a pair of scissors, either. Unless we're dealing with expensive technological items that pose a serious risk of being removed from their plastic and smuggled out of the store to be sold on the black market, packaging should be removable without tools -- and even in the acceptable cases, that impenetrable packaging is as annoying as trying to balance an egg on its head during the solstice. The ability to use tools may be what separate us from monkeys, but the ability to design usable baggies is what separates product engineers from Neanderthals.

If this is a problem caused by different bag vendors for different products and various manufacturing facilities, it's time to take a fresh look at your supply chain. Do you buy resealable sandwich bags that can't open without tearing for your own home? Then why should anyone buy a box with a bag of crackers that do the same thing?

You shouldn't have to worry about finding those ten stray Chocolaty Chip Teddy Grahams that slipped out of the slit in the bag and bloated to unrecognizable balls because they soaked up all the moisture in the air. You won't hear me say this much, but don't worry about the food -- it's fine. Worry about the packaging.



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