My email to Arnott’s

Image by: penguincakes, flickr
Image by: penguincakes, flickr


Last week, someone contacted me.

The end.

Not really. That was a little joke.

The person who contacted me was Haughtmaniac, Andrea Chick.

She wrote:

Are you familiar with Arnott’s BBQ Shapes? Of course you are! Who hasn’t copped a mouthful of red and green sprinkles as they dived in for the last remaining morsels in the bottom of the bag?

Have you had one lately?

They are NEW AND IMPROVED! Well, at least that is what they say on the pack. New, yes. Improved…um…well there appears to be revulsion and revolt afoot from the feedback I have read on the Arnott’s Shapes facebook page.

Please help Arnott’s. Please help us all.

I considered myself commissioned.

Unfortunately, I didn’t put the email together as quickly as I should have and in the intervening period, the Great Shapes War of 2016 had already been fought and won – or in Arnott’s case, lost.

I decided it was better to write late than never.

Dear Arnott’s Campbell Soup Co,

Last week I was commissioned to write an email to you savaging your “new and improved” Shapes biscuits, specifically your Barbecue Shapes.

While I was pissfarting instead of writing that email, an entire consumer furore took place and you succumbed to public opinion, reinstating the old Barbecue Shapes, while retaining the new ones. I’m only telling you this in case you’ve repressed the memory in the space of the last two days or so.

Usually in cases where I leave my run too late I just put the email in the “Ah, fuck it” pile, but in this case I still felt compelled to go and buy a packet of the new Barbecue Shapes, see what all the fuss was about and write to you.

Holy shit, they’re foul.

They taste like you’ve imbued flattened chalk with the flavour of Home Brand’s variety of Barbecue Shape rip-offs from the early 1990s. If you have no idea what I’m talking about, taste one of your new Barbecue Shapes to get an idea. Alternatively, think of tepid minestrone soup at an aged care facility. I’ve never tasted it, but every single oldies’ home smells of the stuff and – you know – the olfactory and gustatory systems are very closely linked…

Anyway, I digress. These things are so far from my childhood memories of Barbecue Shapes – when half the packet was biscuits and half was green and red specks of what I can only assume were desiccated pulp from tomatoes growing within Stonehenge and dried leaves of parsley growing in a hydroponics lab in Atlantis – that they might as well be baked hexagonal sheets of birdshit.

Are they?

I ate three and then flung the packet into the backyard and lawnmowed it. Then I lit a bonfire on the remnants and dug up the entire backyard, including the bonfire ashes and replanted it to make sure no vestiges of the vile biscuits remained.

Having said all that, I don’t see how you’re in the wrong here.

Like any publicly listed company, you have one job and one job only: to provide value to shareholders.

If the best way of providing that value is ruining things for everyone else – social media, my garden, the planet, the iconic products of the once-Australian company you gained control of in a hostile takeover bid – so be it.

You are a global megacorporation. You make barely edible soup and biscuits and chicken stock and SpaghettiOs (I thought Homer Simpson just made them up, but apparently they’re real). People don’t expect you to make things better; they expect you to make things progressively worse – that’s what megacorporations do and have done for many many years.

Goodness, you don’t see Cadbury reverting to MacRobertson’s old chocolate recipe and mould for Freddo. They persist with their own sickly sweet, slightly grainy standard milk chocolate and the image of Freddo the Grinning Degenerate. Soon he will weigh three grams, look like he was bathing in Fukushima power plant coolant water during 2011 and taste of pure palm oil.

So fuck bringing back original Barbecue and Chicken Crimpy Shapes, I say.

You have no obligation to your customers. The customer’s opinion is entirely irrelevant in 2016 and should be considered a minor inconvenience at best.

Hey, if it means better dividends for your shareholders, I’d consider turning the Tim Tam into a pyramidal biscuit with zero chocolate coating, the Mint Slice into a dry macaroon with a faint basil tang and the Scotch Finger into piece of bamboo with some sugar on it.

You are a great and powerful entity. You owe those who eat your products – and society more generally – precisely nothing.

Please return to ruining everything for the sake of your shareholders as soon as possible.

With quivering reverence and the taste of old people’s home still in my mouth,


Read more Haught emails

…or choose one that takes your fancy from the list below:

My email to Yarra Trams
My email to Metro Trains
My email to Facebook
My email to Microsoft
My email to the Commonwealth Bank
My email to Coles
My (unsent) email to the Victorian Department of Transport
My email to Alan Jones
My email to Kyle Sandilands
My email to Gasp Jeans
My email to Jim Beam
My email to Ben Polis
My email to Hoo haa Bar
My email to Weis’ ice creams
My email to some tobacco companies
My email to Margaret Court
My email to KFC


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    • Thanks Amanda. That’s very kind of you to say.

      The only replies I’ve got are from Yarra Trams, Metro Trains and a half-arsed one from KFC.

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