Tag Archives: Consumer Relations

Magic Shell, Magic Poop?


I bought some Magic Shell a while ago, and I thought I’d have some fun with Smucker’s.  It really did have a bad aftertaste, but I decided to take the goofy up a notch.

I submitted the following to their webform:

Hello Friends,

I’d like to start out by saying I’m a big fan of your jellies. Of course I like grape, and we use the apricot preserves in a barbecue recipe. Mixed fruit jelly is my favorite by far. I’m always quite pleased when a restaurant has it in those little packets, and we usually buy 2 jars at a time for home. Why don’t they come in the big jars? That’s a question for another time though. I’m also a fan of your hot fudge topping. It’s the only brand we buy. You guys have it right.

This brings us around to why I am writing… This past weekend, I picked up some Chocolate Fudge Magic Shell at Walmart, because the shelf near the ice cream was void of your hot fudge topping & Hershey’s syrup. I remember having magic shell as a kid, but I’m unsure of the brand. I think I’ve even had the dipped cones at Dairy Queen too.

I didn’t get around to enjoying the Magic Shell until last night when I poured it over some Edy’s Slow Churned Cookie Dough ice cream. I’m not embarrassed to tell you that I was easily amazed at how the shell froze in a few seconds. I have to say it was also quite delicious and a good combination… except the after taste. It came on slowly, but it tasted like what I imagine licking cigarette ashes would taste like after you had just chewed an aspirin and left it on your tongue. It was odd, but I figured it may have perhaps been some artificial sweetener. I didn’t think much else of it.

Excuse me for being frank, but this morning, I had some constipation issues. My wife would attest that I am generally quite regular… or she may even say I heed nature’s call too often. The only thing that I ate out of normal yesterday would be your Magic Shell. I checked the ingredients to see of there was some sort of wax or anything that may be setting up camp in my colon, and I was surprised of the lack of anything sinister. Well, I’m not a fan of coconut, so the oil or even the alkali-processed cocoa may account for the aftertaste that didn’t agree with me. I’m not sure what whole milk solids are… and how they’re different from cheese. Have you guys ever had someone write in with the same problem? Do milk solids or soy lecithin cause blocked bowels? Have you done any research in this area?

I think I may stick with the regular hot fudge topping from now on. Even if there’s no issue with the Magic Shell, it has me kind of spooked.

Obstructed but Optimistic,
-Waldo Lunar

And, I got this boring reply:

From: consumer.relations@jmsmucker.com
Date: Thu, Mar 14, 2013 at 8:26 AM
Subject: Reference Number: 10026410
To: world.and.lunar.domination@gmail.com

March 13, 2013

Mr. Waldo Lunar
1111 Street Rd.
Earth, PA 22222

Dear Mr. Lunar,

Thank you for contacting The J.M. Smucker Company regarding Smucker’s® Magic Shell® Chocolate Fudge Topping. We greatly appreciate and value the input we receive from our consumers.

In order for us to best assist you, we would like to obtain some additional product information. Please, contact us toll-free by calling 888-550-9555, Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time. When you call, it would be helpful to have the product available and to provide the representative with the reference number located at the bottom of this message. This product information will assist us in thoroughly reviewing your inquiry.

BIUB (Best If Used By) date
Production code (Located near the Best If Used By date)
City where purchased
Storage information
Detailed description of the issue

Thank you again for contacting The J.M. Smucker Company. We look forward to speaking with you soon.

Sincerely,
Carla
Consumer Relations Representative

Ref # 10026410

So, I wrote back:

From: world.and.lunar.domination@gmail.com
Date: Mon, Mar 18, 2013 at 8:22 PM
Subject: Re: Reference Number: 10026410
To: consumer.relations@jmsmucker.com

Thanks Carla,

I prefer email to the telephone, hence why I used the online form in the first place. I can, however, provide the information requested:

BIUB (Best If Used By) date: SEP 2014
Production code (Located near the Best If Used By date): 10 0459
City where purchased: Bridgeville, PA
Storage information: On the kitchen counter.
Detailed description of the issue: Well, since I wrote with the issue already, & just received this seemingly standard reply, I’ll again give you my original missive…

[original email]

If you need further details, I’m not sure I’m prepared to share. So, have others emailed or called to complain? I can only assume so if you’re looking at a lot number. Does Magic Shell induce constipation on a regular basis?

Puzzled,
-Waldo Lunar

This came in the mail this weekend:

March 20,2013    Dear Mr. Lunar,  Thank you for contacting The J.M. Smucker Company with your inquiry regarding Smucker's® Magic Shell® Chocolate Fudge Topping. We greatly appreciate and value the input we receive from our consumers and take very seriously any comments pertaining to product quality.   Since we greatly value your comments and your loyalty, your experience has been brought to the attention of our quality assurance department. We want to assure you that our products are made of the best quality ingredients available and by the most carefully controlled procedures known in the food industry.   We appreciate the time required to share your comments with us and are enclosing coupons that we hope you will use to again try our products.   If you have any additional questions or comments, please contact us by calling 888-550-9555, Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time.     Sincerely, Carla  Consumer Relations Representative   Ref# 10026410   Enclosure: 2 Smucker's® $4.00 Coupon(s)   THE J.M. SMUCKER COMPANY· STRAWBERRY LANE, ORRVILLE, OHIO 44667-0280 TELEPHONE (330) 682-3000 • FAX (330) 684-3370 • www.smuckers.com

Letter from Smucker’s

Along with some coupons:

I found it quite amusing, but they never did address the constipation.  I won’t be buying any more magic shell with these coupons.  It really did have a horrible aftertaste.  Maybe I’ll buy some hot fudge, or more mixed fruit jelly.

On an unrelated note, I’ve never understood their slogan;  “With a name like Smucker’s, it’s got to be good.”  Are they implying that their name us stupid or sounds unappetizing?  Odd.  I’d be all like “If you don’t like Smucker’s, you’re a sucker.”  …or something.

Bronco Scores Again!


Well, I didn’t get Jalapeño Bites back at Arby’s yet, but I did answer a tweet from Radio Shack… and it got me a free T-shirt and some moral support for the cause!  Messing around on Twitter & insanity are well rewarded these days, I guess.

I DM’ed them and told them of me real name and my cause.  I think more companies are engaging people personally & directly with Twitter like this, and it’s a great thing.  Who doesn’t like free stuff?

Today the mailman delivered some goodies…

Bronco Jalapeño wins a Radio Shack T-shirt!

Free stuff!

The card s pretty cool too!

Eric, While this shirt can't replace Arby's jalapeño poppers, we hope it comforts you through your withdrawal. Thanks for tweeting at us and for being a fan. Tweet us a pic of your new duds when your shirt gets there. Thanks again! - Billy

@Bronco_Jalapeno #ThanksRadioShack...? Yes, yes he does.

Hilarious.  How fun is that?  I do need some soldering stuff, I guess it’s off to Radio Shack for the stuff next time I need it!  (I might get a couple of capacitors to mess around with.)

So, thanks to Radio Shack for being cool, for the laugh, & for the T-shirt!

Bronco Jalapeño Rides Again!


So my friends, Arby’s is true to their word.  They said they’d send me some Bronco Berry Sauce, and they sure did.  (By the way, Bronco Jalapeño is my thinly veiled alter ego in case you haven’t been following along.)

I walked into the house today and saw this rather large box on the couch where I normally sit.  My wife had arrived home a little while earlier, and brought it inside.  FedEx dropped it off on the front porch earlier in the day.

I saw my name, then the Arby’s logo, and I could hardly contain my excitement.

A case of Arby's Bronco Berry Sauce

...For me?

I mean, I thrive on the ridiculous, and this is most certainly ridiculous.  This couldn’t be a box full of Bronco Berry Sauce, could it?  Indeed, it could.  Absolutely ridiculous.  Personal supply?  I mean, I like to eat but…

240 Packs of Bronco Berry Sauce!

Yee-haw!

That is a whole lot of horses and berries!  Well, it would be… if Bronco Berry Sauce actually contained any broncos or berries.  The label on the box says that it’s 240 1.5 oz. containers of this decadently delightful dip.  It also contained this lovely letter…

Dear Mr. Carroll,   Your voice has been heard!  Believe me; no one takes sauces more seriously than Arby's. And, we know how a craving for our succulent Bronco Berry Sauce can send a person over the edge when they can't get their fix.   So, never fear. Arby's Bronco Berry Calvary has personally secured a box of the top-secret sauce just for you. Think of it as your own personal stash to satisfy that craving whenever and wherever it hits you.   Now, we know that your demands also included bringing back Jalapeno Bites to the Pittsburgh area. And, as you uncovered, restaurants in each market determine whether to serve the fiery goodness of Jalapeno Bites or the equally as delicious Loaded Potato Bites. While we cannot reverse the "Bites" decision at this time, we have shared your passion for the pungent peppers with the Marketing Team.   We hope that our small gesture has eased your pain and that you will reconsider your sauce sit-in.    Sincerely,  Hala Moddelmog President

Hala Moddelmog

Hala Moddelmog, President of Arby's

A letter from the President of Arby’s?  Hala Moddelmog rules.  I mean, I don’t see the presidents of McDonald’s, Wendy’s, or Pizza Hut responding to a crazy person on the internet with such individually directed kindness & generosity.

I’m obviously going to need help finishing this case.  It expires in June, so I highly doubt we can get through it all.  Want some Bronco Berry Sauce?  I’m willing to share what is now a rarity in our region.

I’m saddened by the news that Jalapeño Bites won’t be returning to Arby’s in Pittsburgh any time soon, but I do believe that my emails have actually been passed along.  I will pass on the Occupy Arby’s sauce sit-in.  But I still may write a song, even if no one helps me.

Perhaps the song will be the thing that puts our market managers and the marketing team over the edge.  I’ll have to write to my new friend Ms. Moddlemog, and see exactly where to direct my comments.

I almost want to build something out of them.  It looks like 1 or 2 popped (or was squeezed) open, but it’s an acceptable loss.  I mean, it was free.  We had some Bronco Berry Sauce tonight with a few Tyson chicken tenders for dinner in lieu of boring old bottle barbecue sauce.

Bronco Jalapeño’s appetite may be satisfied for now, but my quest is not over.  Arby’s in Pittsburgh, are you listening?  Bring back the Jalapeño bites!  This potato bite shenanigans is just that, shenanigans.

To follow the story from the start, check out these posts:

  1. Arby’s :: Bronco Berry Sauce®
  2. OCCUPY ARBY’S
  3. You may call me… “Bronco Jalapeño”
  4. Conflicting Information from Arby’s… (Help Bronco Jalapeño write a song!)

Conflicting Information from Arby’s… (Help Bronco Jalapeño write a song!)


So, on one hand… Arby’s is trying to placate the great Bronco Jalapeño with the promise of personal gain.  I think.  They don’t flat-out say that, but that’s what I read from it.  What do you think?

Arby's

Arby's

So they intend to silence the great Jalapeño with a free sample or some coupons?  Perhaps with just their word?  I have not received a reply to the tweet yet… and I’m not sure how they would send a supply of Bronco Berry Sauce as I don’t think Bronco Jalapeño has an address… unless they know that I am Bronco Jalapeño… (which isn’t too hard to figure out) but then again I don’t remember if I provided my address in their contact form, and they haven’t reached out to ask me for it.

On the other hand, I received this email…

From: “customerservice@arbys.com” <customerservice@arbys.com>
To: me@my.email.address
Sent: Tuesday, March 27, 2012 10:20 AM
Subject: Customer Feedback #474233

Dear Mr. Carroll,

Thank you for your comments regarding our Bronco Berry Sauce.  Our customer’s input and comments are always welcome and very important to us. We use this information to guide the decisions we make about our brand and our products. We have shared your comments with our Menu and Product Development team for future consideration. Also, Bronco Berry sauce is not available for retail sale.

 If you have any additional questions you can give us a call at 800-599-2729.

 Thank you again.

 Sincerely,
Arby’s Customer Relations

Allow me to translate a few key lines…

Arby's

No hat is too big for Bronco Jalapeño!

“We have shared your comments with our Menu and Product Development team for future consideration.” means a couple of things:

“We’ve shared your comments” means that it’s off of their collective customer service desk, so they consider the issue resolved, and can blame any further lack of progress or answers solely on the “Menu and Product Development team.”

“For future consideration” means I won’t get a reply from them either, and this will most likely go ignored, completely negating the statements “Our customer’s input and comments are always welcome and very important to us. We use this information to guide the decisions we make about our brand and our products.”

Perhaps I’m too cynical.

Also, Bronco Berry sauce is not available for retail sale” means “too bad for you!”

Oddly (or perhaps not), the # 474233 indicates a second query when I still have no answer to the first… # 473197.

I’m not sure if Arby’s communicates well internally…

So I’m not sure what’s up there.

While we wait for clarification, will you help Bronco Jalapeño write a song?

It can be a protest song, maybe an old west ballad folk-type thing.

You may call me… “Bronco Jalapeño”


So, Arby’s never did respond.  It’s been over a week.

From: Eric <me@my.email.address>
To: “customerservice@arbys.com”
Sent: Wednesday, March 21, 2012
Subject: Re: Arby’s Feedback #473197

Hello friends,

It’s been a week, and I haven’t heard back from my feedback submission…  #473197.

Any hope of some answers?

Thanks,
-Eric
.seitilibasid gninrael fo nuf ekam ot ynnuf ton yllaer s’tI

I did get this engaging missive after I inquired about a response using my trusty tracking number…

From: “customerservice@arbys.com” <customerservice@arbys.com>
To: me@my.email.address
Sent: Wednesday, March 21, 2012
Subject: Arby’s Feedback #473197 Follow-Up

Dear Arby’s Guest,

This e-mail is related to your feedback tracking number 473197.

In order to better serve our customers, we would like to know if you have been contacted by a representative of Arby’s in our efforts to resolve your issue or answer your question.

We appreciate your comments and will use them to improve the overall experience of our customers at our restaurant.

Sincerely,
Arby’s Guest Feedback Team

So I wrote back (again)

From: Eric <me@my.email.address>
To: “customerservice@arbys.com” <customerservice@arbys.com>
Sent: Wednesday, March 21, 2012
Subject: Re: Arby’s Feedback #473197 Follow-Up

Hello,

I have not been contacted.  That’s why I wrote again.  Should I include a copy of my 1st email?

Thanks,
-Eric
.seitilibasid gninrael fo nuf ekam ot ynnuf ton yllaer s’tI

Is it just me, or was the purpose of my original email to state that I had not yet received a reply?  Yet, that asked me if I had received a reply?  Are you even reading these emails, Arby’s?

And that (of course) has gone unanswered again.

I even tried Wendy’s because they once owned part of Arby’s

From: “Domyan, Amanda”
To: “me@my.email.address” <me@my.email.address>
Sent: Wednesday, March 21, 2012
Subject: arbys

Eric,

 I’m sorry they have not responded to you, but Wendy’s and Arby’s are actually not joined together any longer.  We separated about 3 years ago.

 Amanda Domyan

Consumer Relations
One Dave Thomas Blvd.
Dublin, OH 43017
614.764.6800 (Office)
Amanda.domyan@wendys.com

Obviously no help there.

This is what happens when I think out loud, or in type…

Heh. Yeah. @Bronco_Jalapeno was born.

This is America, where the crazy vocal fringe minority gets their way.  Let’s get this done, OK?

Arby's Sign

If the sign says it's delicious, it must be delicious... Right?

Tyson Foods, Inc. & Willie Barber FTW.


Yesterday, I got two surprises in our mailbox… One being that half of it was our neighbor’s mail, and the other being the promised letter & coupons from Mrs. Barber at Tyson  Foods!  OK, the mail mix-up wasn’t that big of a surprise… that happens at least 4 times a week.  It’s always good to get mail that’s not bills or junk mail though, and this made my day…

Tyson Foods - LetterSeems a little stiff compared to my earlier exchanges, but form letters are a necessary evil with a company as large as Tyson I guess.

Also enclosed were five  coupons for free Tyson Foods items!  Two coupons for one free bag of Tyson Frozen Breaded Product or Any’tizers Product, one for any one package of Tyson Individually Frozen Chicken Product, one for any one package of Tyson Wright Brand, and one for any one package of Wright Brand Product… which makes some awesome bacon.

Tyson coupons

This is much much more than I expected, or could have hoped for!  Really, it all started out as goofing around, not a complaint by any means.  It’s certainly better than the paltry pile of coupons that I received from Pillsbury when asking about funding further “how many pizza rolls can really fit in the microwave at once” research.  I let the ball drop on that one… perhaps I better write to them and ask again, using Tyson and Taco Bell as references of good coupon giving.

I’ll have to write back to Willie to say thanks.  This really was quite generous, and will certainly help in stretching the food budget in the coming weeks!

It’s a Southern thing, just ask Willie.


Tyson Foods | Ask Willie

Tyson Foods | Ask Willie

So, my apologies to Mrs. Barber, apparently Willie is also a girl’s name down south.  Ha ha.  You guys need to read my letter to Tyson about the soggy not smelly tiger-tender, and you’ll know what this is all about.  Here’s some follow-up…

from    ERiC AiXeLsyD <world.and.lunar.domination@gmail.com>
to    “Barber, Willie” <Willie.Barber@tyson.com>
date    Sat, Oct 2, 2010
subject    Re: Tyson Honey Battered Breast Tenders
mailed-by    gmail.com

Buenos Dias Mr. Barber!

Thank you for taking the time to reply to my missive.  I’m glad that it entertained and proved interesting!  The information from your Food Safety & Quality Assurance Manager is enlightening.  I guess if I had thought about it, I may have arrived to the same conclusion… as my wife did.  Perhaps she should look into Quality Assurance as a career?

Sadly there was no golden ticket type prize for the tiger-tender, but certainly some complimentary coupons would brighten my day.  Your thoughtfulness is greatly appreciated!  My address is:

ERiC AiXelsyD
XXXXXXXXXXXXXX
Pittsburgh, PA  XXXXX

I still need to look into sending Duquesne Light a bill for my prematurely perished perishables, perhaps cluing them in to your generosity will tip the scales in my favor?  Maybe I should send them the tiger-tender and see if they like soggy formerly-frozen foodstuffs in their freezers.

I’m flattered that you had previously read my ramblings on the web, and honored that you remembered my name!  Now I’m curious as to how I came to be on your radar.  I tend to be goofy at times, and serious at others.  Life’s all about balance… why not enjoy the balance when it swings to the absurd?  Your kind of reply is my favorite.  You may not be surprised ad how many of these types of emails fail in providing a response.  Some people are apparently just too uptight!

I enjoy many of your fine products, and now will even more… and I’ll recommend more to my friends & family!

A good day to you sir,
-ERiC AiXeLsyD

PS – Think there’s any headway at all to be made with Arby’s & the distribution of their Bronco Berry Sauce?

And, she wrote back…

from    Barber, Willie <Willie.Barber@tyson.com>
to    ERiC AiXeLsyD <world.and.lunar.domination@gmail.com>
date    Mon, Oct 4, 2010
subject    RE: Tyson Honey Battered Breast Tenders
mailed-by    tyson.com

Happy Monday Morning!

As I recall, I chanced upon your name/blog while researching one of our customers—maybe McDonald’s, Burger King, or Subway?   Thanks for the address–the coupons will be mailed tomorrow.

By the way, I am a Mrs. not a Mr.  It’s a Southern thing!  AskWillie

Willie Barber

So, she’s read one of my various diatribes on Subway or my disdain for a nearby McDonald’s.  Quite amusing!  I don’t think I’ve messed with Buger King for a long time.

It is sad that she hasn’t addressed the Bronco Berry sauce issue, but I’m sure she can’t or won’t for corporate reasons.

I wrote back once more:

from    ERiC AiXeLsyD <world.and.lunar.domination@gmail.com>
to    “Barber, Willie” <Willie.Barber@tyson.com>
date    Mon, Oct 4, 2010
subject    Re: Tyson Honey Battered Breast Tenders
mailed-by    gmail.com

My Apologies, Mrs. Barber(!),

I guess I should have done my own research!  Ha ha.

I have certainly blogged extensively about a local McDonald’s who is as slovenly as they are slothful, and another who is run exceptionally well and always seems to be clean, efficient, and orderly.  Plus, McDonald’s is just so fun to poke.

I also have an ongoing thing with Subway about their seafood subs and cross-contamination.  I have a severe shellfish allergy, and find them quite irresponsible as far as posting warnings, using the same knife to cut all their subs, and in replying to their customers.  Perhaps you ought to go over there and teach them how to run things!  They never did answer my question about having an in-house subway instead of a cafeteria or kitchen in their corporate offices.  No sense of humor or customer satisfaction, there!

Thanks again for the coupons, my wife & I both appreciate the gesture!

Tyson’s Newest #1 Fan,
-ERiC

…and no reply as of yet, not that I really need one in this instance.  This was just some shameless plugging.  I’m just waiting for my awesome coupons.

Also… if you follow the Ask Willie link, is that the coolest job description, or what?

Hungry for Knowledge as well as Chicken Tenders…


So, not long ago, we got some of those bagged Tyson breast tenders. They’re a nice quick meal, and generally consistently good quality.  Although, in talking with Dave who serves them quite regularly, he seems to not find any of the “odd” ones that I mention below.  Do you get odd ones?  I’d like to open up discussion.

I opened an amusing dialog with Tyson, and here’s how it’s panned out so far:

Peace, Poultry Potentates!

Recently, my wife brought home a bag of your delicious Honey Battered Breast Tenders.  I must say that they are the perfect dinner solution when we are pressed for time or just plain don’t feel like cooking.  I generally over-indulge because the breading/batter is so delicious when cooked in the oven, and I thoroughly enjoy dipping things… whether it be in Honey Mustard, Honey BBQ, just plain ketchup, A1, or a nugget-dipping sauce pilfered (I mean “left over”) from one of the many fast food chains.

On a side note… I really wish Arby’s would bottle & sell their Bronco Berry Sauce®.  Perhaps you can talk to them about that?  It’s EXCELLENT on chicken nuggets or tenders.  Maybe you’d have better luck with McDonald’s getting their nugget sauces in stores?  Didn’t you guys provide them with the not-quite-Chick-fil-A sandwich?

Too many tangents, my friends.  My mind wanders.  Well, not so much wanders as jumping randomly from thought to seemingly unconnected thought.  I assure you though… I do have a point in writing to you today.

I would like to see if I have won some sort of prize, or made some sort of amazing discovery.  Upon opening the most recently purchased bag of Honey Battered Breast Tenders [Mfg. Code 2390CNQ0610] to place on a baking sheet (covered in foil because I hate to clean up), out came this wild tiger-striped breast tender.  If this were an email, I would simply attach my photos, but it’s not, and I can’t… so I will provide you with a link to the photographic evidence on Photobucket:

http://i127.photobucket.com/albums/p139/worldandlunardomination/creepy%20tyson%20chicken%20thing/Tiger-StripedNuggetThing1640w.jpg

http://i127.photobucket.com/albums/p139/worldandlunardomination/creepy%20tyson%20chicken%20thing/Tiger-StripedNuggetThing2640w.jpg

These photos were taken of the tender just as it was after being pulled out of the bag, I did not cook this tender.

You can see that one side of the tender is more striped than the other.  Surely, I have made an amazing discovery.  Is this like Charlie Bucket’s golden ticket in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory?  Do I get a free tour of your facility now?  That would be quite exciting.  Quite exciting indeed!  I must confess that I don’t typically stay up on current poultry-related events, so I haven’t seen anything about the contest.  I was unaware on how to proceed, so I figured that I would reach out to you.

I found this “deviant” to be exceptional.  Generally, there’s the accepted and expected amount of 2 or 3 “off” breast tenders to a pack.  This isn’t the usual overcooked/brown one, a non-fully coated one, the mysterious black spot one, or the “Siamese twin” one(s?).  (I saw these machines on the Food Network or History Channel one time… where this laser shot odd-colored potato chips out of the line.  Perhaps you ought to look into borrowing one over a weekend to see if it works out on your line?)

I immediately placed the chicken tender with war paint into a plastic freezer-bag and placed it back in the freezer.  I can certainly send it to you upon request, although I’m not sure where to obtain dry ice for safe shipping.

Also, there was a ridiculously short yet violent storm in the area last week that knocked out our power for two days.  Most everything else in the freezer and refrigerator ended up in our trash cans because our power company doesn’t understand the importance of a solid infrastructure quite like it should.  (Our power has gone out for more than 24 hours on three separate occasions this year alone.)

I kept the tiger-tender, and did open the Ziploc® bag to take a whiff.  It’s definitely not rancid, but it did get to a point where it was more soggy than frozen.  I have considered sending a bill for my wasted food (including about 1/2 the bag of Tyson Honey Battered Breast Tenders) to Duquesne Light, but am unsure of the legality.

Well, my de-feathered friends, I thank you for your time and I hope to hear from you soon regarding this rare specimen.  I wait with hardly contained excitement, much to my wife’s dismay.  For some strange reason, she thinks that the zebra-tender is just a fluke, and not a prize winning game-piece, or as I had suggested one night while sitting in the dark… Perhaps it’s a new top secret flavor, unveiled in a covert manner to the masses.  Help me prove that I’m right!

Hungry for Knowledge as well as Chicken Tenders,
-ERiC AiXeLsyD

And, the photos…

Tiger-Striped Nugget Thing 1Tiger-Striped Nugget Thing 2

I submitted it via webform, and didn’t get any immediate responses… so of course, I Googled some “@tyson.com” email addresses until I came up with a few. Luckily, it worked!

from Barber, Willie <Willie.Barber@tyson.com>
to ERiC AiXeLsyD <world.and.lunar.domination@gmail.com>
date Fri, Oct 1, 2010 at 6:13 PM
subject Tyson Honey Battered Breast Tenders
mailed-by tyson.com

Hello, ERiC AiXeLsyD:

Thank you for a very entertaining and interesting message!  The pictures were very helpful.

The Food Safety & Quality Assurance Manager at the processing plant reviewed the picture of the “tiger tender”  and its compadre.   She related that the stripes are overcooked batter in crevices caused by the wire conveyor belt.  Sometimes when the batter is too thin, the wire belt will make “ridges” on the tenders.  Because the batter is thin, it cooked up darker compared to the rest of the batter on the tender.  The sugar in the honey also adds to a darker color profile. She also related that the other picture looked like there wasn’t enough batter or it popped off during freezing or packing.

So, it appears that the tiger tender and the rare specimen are simply suffering from the lack of batter–nothing interesting or covert!   Send me your postal address and I will send some complimentary coupons to help your Hunger for Chicken Tenders.

Best regards,

Willie D. Barber
Manager, Consumer Relations

PS  Some time ago while researching on the web, I happened to visit your blog and became intrigued with your name.   Surprisingly, I recognized it when your message was forwarded to me.  You are certainly a multi-talented person!

Couldn’t have asked for a better response. Ha ha ha. Not only did they write back, but they took it seriously, and it looks like I may get some free stuff or at least a coupon!  Bonus points for the use of the word compadre, even if there was no mention of McDonald’s and/or Arby’s.

Also… the PS?  I’m famous? Ha ha ha. I wonder where/how Mr. Barber previously came across my ramblings?  I didn’t think that many people read this thing.

Oh well, now I need to write back… but I’d still like to know about the odd ones.  Be it chicken tenders, pizza rolls, any frozen food… isn’t there generally always an odd one or two?

Peace, Poultry Potentates!

Recently, my wife brought home a bag of your delicious Honey Battered Breast Tenders.  I must say that they are the perfect dinner solution when we are pressed for time or just plain don't feel like cooking.  I generally over-indulge because the breading/batter is so delicious when cooked in the oven, and I thoroughly enjoy dipping things... whether it be in Honey Mustard, Honey BBQ, just plain ketchup, A1, or a nugget-dipping sauce pilfered (I mean "left over") from one of the many fast food chains.  

On a side note... I really wish Arby's would bottle & sell their Bronco Berry Sauce®.  Perhaps you can talk to them about that?  It's EXCELLENT on chicken nuggets or tenders.  Maybe you'd have better luck with McDonald's getting their nugget sauces in stores?  Didn't you guys provide them with the not-quite-Chick-fil-A sandwich?

Too many tangents, my friends.  My mind wanders.  Well, not so much wanders as jumping randomly from thought to seemingly unconnected thought.  I assure you though... I do have a point in writing to you today.

I would like to see if I have won some sort of prize, or made some sort of amazing discovery.  Upon opening the most recently purchased bag of Honey Battered Breast Tenders [Mfg. Code 2390CNQ0610] to place on a baking sheet (covered in foil because I hate to clean up), out came this wild tiger-striped breast tender.  If this were an email, I would simply attach my photos, but it's not, and I can't... so I will provide you with a link to the photographic evidence on Photobucket:






These photos were taken of the tender just as it was after being pulled out of the bag, I did not cook this tender.

You can see that one side of the tender is more striped than the other.  Surely, I have made an amazing discovery.  Is this like Charlie Bucket's golden ticket in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory?  Do I get a free tour of your facility now?  That would be quite exciting.  Quite exciting indeed!  I must confess that I don't typically stay up on current poultry-related events, so I haven't seen anything about the contest.  I was unaware on how to proceed, so I figured that I would reach out to you.

I found this "deviant" to be exceptional.  Generally, there's the accepted and expected amount of 2 or 3 "off" breast tenders to a pack.  This isn't the usual overcooked/brown one, a non-fully coated one, the mysterious black spot one, or the "Siamese twin" one(s?).  (I saw these machines on the Food Network or History Channel one time... where this laser shot odd-colored potato chips out of the line.  Perhaps you ought to look into borrowing one over a weekend to see if it works out on your line?)

I immediately placed the chicken tender with war paint into a plastic freezer-bag and placed it back in the freezer.  I can certainly send it to you upon request, although I'm not sure where to obtain dry ice for safe shipping.

Also, there was a ridiculously short yet violent storm in the area last week that knocked out our power for two days.  Most everything else in the freezer and refrigerator ended up in our trash cans because our power company doesn't understand the importance of a solid infrastructure quite like it should.  (Our power has gone out for more than 24 hours on three separate occasions this year alone.)  

I kept the tiger-tender, and did open the Ziploc® bag to take a whiff.  It's definitely not rancid, but it did get to a point where it was more soggy than frozen.  I have considered sending a bill for my wasted food (including about 1/2 the bag of Tyson Honey Battered Breast Tenders) to Duquesne Light, buy am unsure of the legality.

Well, my de-feathered friends, I thank you for your time and I hope to hear from you soon regarding this rare specimen.  I wait with hardly contained excitement, much to my wife's dismay.  For some strange reason, she thinks that the zebra-tender is just a fluke, and not a prize winning game-piece, or as I had suggested one night while sitting in the dark... Perhaps it's a new top secret flavor, unveiled in a covert manner to the masses.  Help me prove that I'm right!

Hungry for Knowledge as well as Chicken Tenders,
-ERiC AiXeLsyD