An Open Letter to the Yoplait Company
To Whom it May Concern:
I write to you concerning your product offering known as “Go-Gurt.”
I’m not even sure I’m hyphenating or capitalizing this word correctly. Your website isn’t exactly clear. I think it’s actually “Go⇒Gurt” but just typing that took clip art and 10 minutes of my time.
Nevertheless, I need to explain what may have been a radical drop in your FY earnings. You see, things at our house have changed.
Go-Gurt, that yogurt-in-a-tube with twice the protein of most leading kid’s yogurts? It’s brilliant. It’s portable, requires no utensils, can be easily frozen, and comes in flavors like cotton candy. Which is why I started buying it. First, in the 8-tube packs, then 16. At one point, it was 2 boxes of 24 each because my kids were eating 2-3 of them a day. They were also very…”regular,” because, well…it’s yogurt. I’m sure you realize that Go-Gurt is just colorful Activia for kids.
Then one day, Jesse decided he had had enough. I couldn’t figure out why. In the same way my other son Noah started gagging at the sight of candles, Jesse did a hard stop on tubed yogurt. Almost overnight.
No, scratch that. It was overnight.
I packed Jesse a Go-Gurt a month ago. It came back in his lunch bag, un-opened. I packed him another the next day. Again, it was returned. I asked him why he wasn’t eating them anymore, and he said simply, “Mom, I don’t like Go-Gurts. You know that.”
Which I thought was kind of rude, considering the fact that I didn’t know that. Why would I pack him something I knew he wasn’t going to eat, and then would need to be thrown away because THAT’S JUST LIGHTING MONEY ON FIRE, JESSE!
So I stopped purchasing so many boxes of your product. We went from 48 tubes to 8 in a short period of days. I used to hoard coupons for Go-Gurt because we amassed so many boxes. Some people buy milk and bread before a snowstorm. I sent Matt out for Go-Gurts. It was the snack I administered when I was buying time before dinner, or after football practice. Something that bore a shadowy resemblance to health food, but still used red dye #9. Your Go-Gurts were me, winning at snacks.
And now they’re gone. I apologize.
Only recently did I find out why.
I had Jesse to myself last week, quiet in the backseat. Unhindered by interruptions from his siblings. He was eating what was left of his lunch (sans Go-Gurt) in the backseat.
“Hey Jesse? Why don’t you like Go-Gurts anymore?”
“I like Go-Gurts. Just not when people are in the room.”
“Wait a minute–”
“Yes, because I also don’t like juice boxes. But I can have them when I am alone.”
“Um, okay, there are some problems with the logic of that last sentence, but I’m more concerned with the ‘why’ of this. You just stopped with them all of a sudden!”
He paused for a moment.
“Well…one time at the cafeteria, I was eating a Go-Gurt when Mikey was eating at the same time, and something green from his sandwich came out of the side of his mouth and it was disgusting, Mom, so I can’t eat Go-Gurts anymore when other people are around. And especially if they are eating anything.” Here, Jesse visibly shuddered. “And also, juice boxes. Juice boxes are KILLING me.”
“WHAT?” I chirped. “What’s wrong with juice boxes, now?”
“When juice boxes are empty, and crumpled up, it drives me crazy. I can’t stand looking at them! I know they’re just so crumbly and gross inside.”
I sighed the deep, heavy, sigh of a woman for whom grocery shopping has gone from challenging to nearly impossible; a trip that now requires separate purchases for each boy who has preferences so strong for and against certain things that they elicit a physiological response. No one wants to be the mother of the reflexive pukers at lunchtime. No one wants puking at all, really, but if you can prevent it with the right groceries, that’s really the way to go.
Good Yoplait people, your products are great. But I’m sorry. We’re sort of done. My boys’ Asperger’s Syndrome has ensured we spend our money elsewhere. Right now, it’s on crunchy things. Chips, crackers, apples and the like. The smooth, chewy, or rubbery things are out.
Which reminds me I have a letter to write to the fine folks at L’il Critters Gummi-Vites…
Sarah Parshall Perry
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