The Great Parmalat Cream Cheese Scandal My Life 01 JUL 2013

parmalat low fat cream cheese 2.5 kg tubChantelle bakes for a living, meaning that my home has forever been transformed by the influx of fridges, freezers, stoves, baking tins, and lots and lots of bulk bought ingredients. In her endeavours, she makes use of a fair bit of cream cheese, buying the stuff up in bulk 2.5 kg tubs.

The two main lines that she uses is Lancewood’s fabulously rich and indulgent cream cheese, as well as Parmalat’s slightly cheaper low fat cream cheese, also a tasty and versatile product.

One day, on the spur of the moment, Chantelle plonked one of the Parmalat tubs that she was busy using down on her pretty accurate food scale and noticed that the weight wasn’t quite what it should have been. Intrigued, she set about weighing some more of the sealed tubs that had just been dropped off by her main cheese supplier, Caterix, and was shocked to find that each and every tub was well under the advertised 2.5 kg weight!

So she phoned up Caterix and informed them of the situation. They started to weigh the tubs that were coming in directly from Parmalat and were just as mortified to see them also all under weight!

Now as far as I remember, in South Africa you are not allowed to include the weight of the packaging in the stated weight of the product being sold (and even if they did, they would still be under!), which means Parmalat is seriously out of line here. Chantelle did some calculations and basically figured out that for every 7 sealed tubs she was purchasing (and mind you, it’s a couple of hundred Rand per tub!), she was in fact only receiving just over 6 tubs of cream cheese to use!

Anyway, this immediately put Chantelle in a bad mood and the poor Parmalat help line assistant received the brunt of Chantelle’s displeasure, eventually promising that we’ll get a response from Parmalat in about two weeks’ time.

We await in anticipation.

(Though I suspect, the easiest solution for them is just to do what the chocolate slab and toothpaste manufactures have already done in this country. Simply reduce the size of the product and keep the price exactly the same!)

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About Craig Lotter

South African software architect and developer at Touchwork. Husband to a cupcake baker and father to two little girls. I don't have time for myself any more.