Friday, February 19, 2010

New and Improved? Say It Ain't So

Dear Coffee-mate,

What were you thinking? Once upon a time I could pop open my trusty bottle of Fat-Free Hazelnut Coffee-mate, topple a blob into my coffee, and enjoy my favorite morning taste treat.

You had to go and change it, didn’t you? 

Back in the day—like, until a couple of months ago—it was all so simple. When we opened a new bottle of Coffee-mate there was a foil seal to remove, so we knew it was unadulterated.

Then you changed the design, so that there’s a spiffy little plastic ring to pull out, not unlike cartons of orange juice, for example. Yes, it looks very impressive. Bet you put a bundle into the new design, didn’t you?

Trouble is, now when we screw the top back on, and pop it open, we not only pour a little Coffee-mate into our coffee, we get a significant dribble of the precious liquid down the side of the bottle. It’s inescapable.

It seems to me that your parent company, Nestle’, would have been able to test-market this new design before approving it and inflicting it on us sending it out all over the country. It seems to me that Nestle’ would have made sure that if they were spending the money to re-tool and create a totally new bottle design for a product that brings in $483 gazillion dollars a year, they would want it to be an actual IMPROVEMENT over the old design.

But I would be wrong.

The old design never dripped.

This one drips. Every time. In every bottle I’ve had since they changed the spout, not once has it failed to send a little stream of fat-free hazelnut yummitude down the outside of the bottle. So every time I use it, I have to wipe it clean, and wipe any place it splashed onto, or dripped onto while I was finagling it like a baton twirler trying to outsmart the thing. At least half the time my fingers get sticky while this is happening. I’m pretty sure this qualifies me as a slow learner, but that’s not bothering me too much just yet.

Whenever my mom saw that some product she liked was being touted as ‘new and improved’, she used to say, “There goes that.” And she was usually right. They would take something she liked just fine and spoil it in some way.

I’m not saying that’s happened with my Fat-Free Hazelnut Coffee-mate, but they are teetering on the brink. Am I going to stop using the stuff? No way, Ness-lay. But this qualifies as ANNOYING with a capital A.

Aaaaand a deep cleansing breath—and thank you for letting me vent.


  1. you really should write them. might get good results, and/or free product. I always write my complaints to the company. it always proves fruitful for me, sometimes gets them to improve their product(sometimes not)

  2. I think it's a ploy to get you to run out of the product sooner so you have to buy it more often. Tricky little devils. This happend with the brand of syrup I buy. The opening used to be small and the perfect amound of syrup would come out. Now, tons and tons come out and not only do we run out of syrup too fast, half of our pancakes get ruined because they are drowning in it. Aye!

  3. that is not cool!! I hope they fix that!!! sometimes designers are not too smart I think. Its funny, their parent co. is nestle but above that used to be phillip morris (the cig company) but they switched their name to altria, so maybe you could write to them and let them know! (the only reason I know this is because awhile back I dated a guy who worked for philip morris and told me when they changed their name, I'm not a stalker of the company or anything! lol)

  4. Yes, I have that response programmed into my brain.... "New and Improved"? Uh-oh.

  5. “Happy SITS Saturday Sharefest”
    You really should write them... you might get some free! Also, you could go down and get a little rubbermaid pitcher and do away with the bottle! Lol

  6. Hi Leah:

    So glad I found your hilarious musings on SITS. I am a relatively new blogger, still looking to find my "tribe". Since I can't recognize potential fellow members via face paint or other physical signals, I'm relying on humour to do the trick!

    Look forward to more!



  7. Stopping by from SITS - ITA with the first commenter - CALL them! Tell them exactly what you blogged - they will take it all down and send it to marketing and probably send you coupons for more coffeemate. You can also go one step further and contact International Delight and tell them about your difficulties with CM and see if they'll send you a coupon to try their product and packaging ... bet they will :) I call companies all the time and have posted about it Here

  8. Why do companies always do this? Who do they use as their focus groups, chimps? I'd go to the company's website and send them the link to this post.

  9. Thanks SITSta for stopping by. I hear ya, I just had to wipe down my bottle of creamer! What can't they just leave well enough alone sometimes :)