ATTN: Chris Neugent,
President, Post Consumer Brands
And/or The Knucklead Who Made the Decision to Abandon Peaches
Consumer Affairs Department
20802 Kennsington Boulevard
Lakeville, MN 55044
Dear Mr. Neugent,
I don’t typically write letters to corporations, or heads of corporations. Actually, this is only the second letter I have written to a major corporation. The first was 16 years ago when I wrote the Chief Executive Officer of the Hormel Corporation because they started making Spam with turkey. That single act was bad enough, but I felt they had dropped the ball on the name. Everyone knows that the name “Spam” comes from a blending of the two words “Spiced” and “ham.” I felt that if SPiced + hAM = SPAM, then SPiced + tURKEY = SPURKEY.
That letter-writing campaign fell on deaf ears. Hormel never changed the name to SPURKEY, though they did send a t-shirt, refrigerator magnet, and a SPAM snow globe that still sits on my desk— a poor consolation for naming rights, I’m sure you will agree.
I am writing to you today because I believe you have made a grave error in judgement in your cereal division. Granted, you have made some very wise moves with cereals over the years— you had the foresight and vision to license the Flintstones cartoon characters for your Fruity Pebbles cereal. I have never eaten Fruity Pebbles, or Coco Pebbles, but I think that Fred Flintstone is a riot— though don’t you think that the Flintstones was just a cartoon version of the Honeymooners set in caveman days? Now that I think of it, wasn’t Pebbles the name of Fred and Wilma’s baby daughter? Naming a cereal after a cartoon character might have been a wise move, but what about Bam Bam? Doesn’t he deserve a cereal, too? Is this reverse-cereal misogyny? But I digress.
I am not one to question a successful corporation that has been in business for well over 100 years. You people have made cereal out of Oreo cookies. Who, but a visionary, does that? Your Golden Crisp (called Super Sugar Crisp when I was a kid—a better and more accurate name, by the way) is very good. And who hasn’t spelled their name out in a cereal bowl with a serving of your Alpha Bits? Your Grape Nuts (or as I call it, gravel-in-a-bowl) and Bran Flakes have been keeping people regular for years. For that feat, alone, you deserve inclusion in the breakfast cereal hall of fame (clean colon division). You have Honey Comb, Malt-O-Meal (Your branding team might want to look into a different name there, just don’t call the SPAM people at Hormel when it comes to renaming, they have no vision or insight). I’ll admit that I don’t “get” Shredded Wheat, but it’s been around for a while, so there must be something to it. And I will admit that your company produces a mighty fine Raisin Bran (another candidate for the clean colon division—thank you). Obviously, you and your Post peeps clearly know what you are doing.
That is why I was so surprised when you took my favorite cereal, Post Honey Bunches of Oats with Peaches off the market! Trust me, I know breakfast cereals, and that was the absolute BEST breakfast cereal on the planet. Ever! Period. End of discussion. It was light, yet crunchy, not too sweet, and had small, sweet pieces of dried peaches that softened up once they hit the milk. The first time I ever took a bite, I was hooked. I remember thinking to myself, “Who was the genius who came up with this combination? He must be a brilliant, rising star in the breakfast-cereal world. If they have an award for best-cereal invention of the year, this person is a bigger shoo-in than Meryl Streep or Daniel Day-Lewis, who each just show up to the Oscar ceremony every other year to pick up their statuette.” I really thought that. But I digress again.
Look, I understand you make Honey Bunches of Oats with apples, and almonds, and vanilla, and pecans, and chocolate, but ALL of those pale in comparison to the Honey Bunches of Oats with Peaches. Your saving grace is that you haven’t stopped making Honey Bunches of Oats with Strawberries, which is good, but everyone knows that peaches are an infinitely better fruit than strawberries.
I have started a Bring Back the Peaches campaign. Currently, I am the only member of that organization, but that makes me the president and CEO, too. So now that you understand that we are both on the same corporate level— as fellow presidents and CEOs who are just chatting as we business types do about important business decisions between each other— I think that it is only fair to warn you that I plan to stage an all-out protest and march outside of your company headquarters demanding that peaches be brought back into the fold of the Honey Bunches of Oats family. We call it the Bring Back the Peaches March of 2017.
It will be organized in the style of all the great marches and protests throughout the years— from the Suffragette movement to Tiananmen Square. I predict that the Bring Back the Peaches March of 2017 will go down in the history books as one of the all-time great protests in the history of protests. We don’t have anyone who has signed up to march for this very important cause yet, but I plan to write George Soros to see if he wouldn’t mind paying a few protesters to join this very worthy cause. I’ll bet he’s a peach eater, too.
Though I do have a slight dilemma, I don’t know which location would be best to stage this protest. Maybe you can tell me which of your many corporate office buildings wouldn’t mind a few fat folks like me walking around with protest signs (we also might get hungry, could you see that someone brings us a few bowls of Honey Bunches of Oats with Strawberries during our break times?). And while you’re at it, could you send the corporate jet down here to Hattiesburg, Mississippi to pick up our group. I don’t think the Pine Belt Regional Airport has a direct flight into Lakeville, Minnesota.
I’ll bring some peaches with me, as the Chilton County, Alabama varieties are coming in right now. And we can take those peaches into your test kitchen and have your corporate chefs whip up a fresh batch of Honey Bunches of Oats with Peaches so you can see for yourselves how boneheaded the move was when some knucklehead in your company discontinued this amazing cereal.
Better yet, if you think you will be in the South Mississippi area anytime in the next few weeks, just give me a call. You can come over to my house and we can sit down— man-to-man, cereal-fan-to-cereal-executive— and talk this thing out. That might actually be the wiser move for you, as it would spare all of the negative national press coverage that a major protest march from our peach coalition would bring. I’ll spring for the Honey Bunches of Oats with Strawberries that will be served during those heated negotiations.
Save the Peaches!
Robert St. John
President, CEO of the Bring Back the Peaches Campaign
PO Box 17318
Hattiesburg, MS 39404
P.S.— Do you have any t-shirts (XXL, I eat a lot of cereal), refrigerator magnets, or snow globes with Fruity Pebbles floating around in them?
View today’s recipe: Miniature Fried Peach Pies