your product Do
food manufacturers receive fan letters? More important, will
they send coupons to anyone who writes one?
Foods, Anaheim, California)
tried your tortillas the other week, and they're good. I've never
written a letter to any food before, but what the heck. Maybe
I can make a difference. One question: I've never seen any coupons
for your tortillas. Do you have them?"
Days to Respond: 29
Response: Ginger Naig, Sales Administrator: "If [sic]
is always a pleasure to hear from a satisfied customer."
Enclosures: Four 25-cent coupons for Don Miguel Breakfast
Burritos, two coupons for free Piñata burritos and two
coupons for free packages of Piñata tortillas
Total take (minus stamp): $4.97
(Creamette Co., Minneapolis)
Letter: "You guys make a great spicy hot pepper pasta
sauce! How did you get the spiciness just right, so it's not
too hot and not too wimpy? Chip Rowe, Retired, U.S. Marines."
Days to Respond: 32
Response: Debbie Doepel, Consumer Relations: "Thank
you for taking the time to contact us regarding our products.
We always enjoy hearing from our consumers."
Enclosures: 50-cent coupon and recipes
Total take (minus stamp): 21 cents
El Paso Refried Beans
(Pet Incorporated, St. Louis)
Letter: "I make a lot of burritos because they're
easy to make and I lived in Mexico for a few months when I was
younger. But that's another story! (ha!) Where do you get the
recipe for your Mexican foods? Do you have workers from Mexico?"
Days to respond: 23
Response: Robin D. Dixon, Consumer Affairs Correspondent:
"It was a pleasure to read your letter about Old El Paso
products. It means a lot to all of us."
Enclosures: Coupon for free Old El Paso product
Total take (minus stamp): 16-ounce salsa, $2.80
Grape-Nuts (Kraft Foods, White
Plains, New York)
"I thought since you all probably hear complaints from a
bunch of whiny kooks all day, I'd drop a line. I've put Grape-Nuts
on my yogurt every morning since mid-February (my neighbor suggested
it) and let me tell you it makes it taste a lot better. I also
have a question: Where did the name Grape-Nuts come from? You've
probably been asked before."
Days to Respond: 9
Response: Sandra Norris, Manager: "Thank you for
sharing your thoughts with us about Grape-Nuts. We try to create
new products that will add convenience and variety to your meals.
It is nice to hear that our efforts have been successful."
Enclosures: 40-cent coupon for Good Season Fat-Free Dressing.
Brochure with recipes for Yabba Dabba Doo Squares, Peanut Butter
and Jelly Muffins, others
Total take (minus stamp): 11 cents
Maid Orange Juice
Letter: "Your orange juice is very good. There's
too much ugliness and put-downs in the world and so I'm writing
to say I like your product. I also want to know, because my wife
said to put this in, what happens to all the oranges after you
Days to Respond: 42
Response: Kandie E. Thomas, Consumer Information Center
Representative: "Dear Mr. and Mrs. Rowe, Thanks so much
for taking the time to offer your kind words about our [space
left blank]. Consumer comments help guide us in our continuing
effort to win for our products the highest acceptance in the
marketplace. To address the question of 'What happens to all
the oranges after you squeeze them'? The by-products of the oranges
contribute to useful products such as feed for farm animals,
horses, cows and pigs. Hope this information is helpful and I
hope that you will recommend our products to your friends."
Enclosures: Four 25-cent coupons for Minute Maid Premium
Choice Florida Squeezed Orange Juice
Total Take (minus stamp): 71 cents
(American Home Foods, Lisle, Illinois)
Letter: "Your mustard is great. Can I score some
Days to Respond: 9
Response: Annjane Tanner, Consumer Affairs Representative:
"Savings on many of our food items are available by making
use of our coupons that appear in many of our newspaper ads."
Enclosures: 25 coupons (including one for 20 cents off
Gulden's) worth a total of $10
Total take (minus stamp): $9.71
(Golden Grain, San Leandro, California)
Letter: "Don't think I'm a complete weirdo, because
usually I don't write letters to foods, but what a great thing
I've found in Noodle Roni. I've got two kids and after working
all day, it's great to be able to stir up dinner for both of
them in a few minutes without having to nuke something. I just
thought about how thankful I was for products like that, and
what the hay I'll type a letter at work!!"
Days to Respond: 13
Response: Susan Plantz, Senior Consumer Response Specialist,
Consumer Response Group: "The comments of our consumers
are always welcome and we appreciate having them on record."
Enclosures: Coupon for free Noodle Roni
Total take (minus stamp): $1.19
Den Bergh Foods, Lisle, Illinois)
Letter: "I'm a big fan, and I've tried lots of margarines
(usually what's on sale) and haven't liked them as much. If you
write back, can you tell me what churn style means?"
Days to respond: 25
Response: Lisa Moore, Consumer Representative: "Our
goal has always been to provide consumers with the highest quality
food products to meet their individual taste preferences. A personal
commendation such as yours is most welcome."
Enclosures: Coupon for free Shedd's Country Crock 3 lb.
Total take (minus stamp): $2.35
Letter: "Jell-O spends a few years developing a pudding,
and you guys make one that's better in half the time. Am I right?
I've always loved your Kisses, and your pudding didn't disappoint."
Days to respond: 9
Response: Elsie Claudio, Consumer Respondent: "We
are proud of our commitment to excellence."
Enclosures: Five brochures: Nutrition Information for
Consumers; Pasta Sampler; Pasta: A Food for Today; Hershey's
Brownie Sampler; Hershey's Cocoa 5-Minute Recipes
Total take (minus stamp): Negative 29 cents
(Kraft Foods, West Haven, Connecticut)
"I love Big n' Crusty bagels. Those others, the smaller
ones you make, they aren't enough to fill me up for breakfast
and get me going! Also, I have a question, although it may be
kind of dumb, but do you make new bagels out of the part that
you punch out of the middle (the hole)? Don't think I'm strange,
I'm just a normal person."
Days to respond: No response. Boycott in effect.
Total take (minus stamp): Negative 29 cents
article first appeared my fanzine, Chip's Closet Cleaner, Issue
also: The Great Coupon Experiment
Book Review: The Lazlo Letters
Coupon Organizer (product), Links: Deal Dude
Free Grocery Coupons Online
The $39 Experiment
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