Sunday, November 21, 2010

Et Tu Kimberly-Clark? Or, Kleenex Says: Bite Me!

Food corporations are conglomerates whose business is to make money by selling food products, spending hundreds of millions of dollars each year to get the consumer to give them a bigger part of each food dollar. They entice us with 'new' flavors, 'exciting' new food colors, attractive packaging, happy jingles and repetition, repetition, repetition. In many cases it is working. The consumers of the world are buying into all the gimmicks and buying food products that are easier to prepare, 'shelf' stable, sugar-enriched, salt-laden, fat-dense and lower priced. But again, the business of food conglomerates is to sell us food. Whether the food is or is not good for us is another story. But this is not a rant against the food industry. 

I was shopping in Target today and happened to see a new product by Kimberly-Clark Worldwide. Among their many other product lines, Kimberly-Clark produces Kleenex tissues. That is why I could not imagine what the Kleenex name was doing on a package of what appeared to be large cake slices. But then I took another look. Those weren't packages of cake. They were packages of Kleenex tissue in boxes designed to look like cake! Kleenex (or their parent company Kimberly-Clark) has gone over to the dark side and is now encouraging consumers to buy their tissues by designing the packaging to look like very ample and delicious pieces of cake and pie! It is their "Divine Desserts" line of Tissues. The description on the box reads "Cakes, pies and candies OH MY! Add a little sweetness to your decor this season by sprinkling our confectionery delights throughout your home. Collect all four of these delectable treats before they are gobbled up!"

What's next Kimberly-Clark? Small round purse sized travel tissues in a chocolate chip cookie designed wrapper. Perhaps individual tissues will be wrapped inside of bonbon foils and nested into little brown fluted paper cups. Maybe tissues will come scented in cocoa-mocha, cinnamon strudel, and hazelnut praline. 

For Calorie's sake people, we are a nation about to be crushed under the weight of our staggering health ailments stemming from decades of poor food decisions in part due to the manipulative and misleading marketing strategies of our food industries. Do the paper product manufacturers really think this is the wagon on which to jump? Are we so addicted to being visually stimulated by food that we want to have it in our face just to blow our nose? 

I have been a lifelong Kleenex fan. I can still remember the Kleenex says Bless you jingles from the 1980s commercials. I am not buying into it. Yesterday, I bought Puffs Plus Tissues by Proctor and Gamble.
Tissues are not food, but refusing to buy this product is how I am keeping the pounds off for another day. Are  there any inedible products making you hungry today? 



Rory said...

I feel in this situation you might be judging a bit. In your view it seems like Kleenex is out to get you, they know you're weaknesses, and they want to shove it in your face. But really, Kleenex even said on their packaging: "Add sweetness to your decor this season". For some it might be better to lay out that fake piece of red velvet instead of that bowl of Christmas M&Ms.

Some people like me are just in it for the details. If I owned a bakery I would buy as many of these as I could right now, just so I had months of customers appreciating the details...

Jane Cartelli said...

Interesting interpretation, Rory. However, Kleenex DOES know the public's weaknesses. That is what they pay market research firms to give them. You should read "What to Eat." Then we can have a discussion on this subject.

Hey, I read Harry Potter for you. Maybe "What to Eat" will open up a whole new world for you . . LOL