Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Congressional Yogurt

Q. Mark, You are good with words and I could use your advice. Can you help me write a letter to my congressman? I'd like some swift orderly change around here. 

A. Dear Congressionally Concerned, 
I don't know how to write to a congressman. But I think it is well worth the effort to find out. If you do, please let me know. In the mean time, even though it's a bit different, here is a letter I have written to a major corporation. Perhaps you can use this as a template for your congressman letter. They might even have a comment section on their website. Wouldn't that be nice?

Thanks for doing your part. Hope this helps,

See attached letter below

Dear Yoplait Yogurt, 
I wanted to let you know that your yogurt is one of the few brands I will eat. And I eat it often because my wife buys them so much. Pina Colada is my favorite. So thanks for making that. 

 Along with my thanks I have a complaint. Or a suggestion rather. Or maybe it's a question. It's about the design of your packaging. Mainly the design of your cup shape. Do you know that it is an irritating shape? Have you looked into other designs?
For me, food is always better when it is also comfortable to eat. Eating from your yogurt container is not a comfortable experience. It starts out fine enough but those last few bites are no good. And here is why. I will start at the top and work down.

First of all the little ridge at the top of the container does a fine job of getting in the way of my spoon and conceals about a 1/4 tblspn of yogurt. I can get to it but it takes work. More than it should. And sometimes, when I am not in a public setting, I use my tongue to lick the underside of the rim. I always worry about the plastic cutting me. It hasn't happened yet but it is a thought that I don't want to have while I am eating... Can you get rid of the lip?

Secondly, the container is wider at the bottom than at the top. I am sure this is by design. But why? Is it for refrigerator stability? Is it to set your yogurt apart from the others? If so, let me tell you the taste and texture do that on their own. The inverse cup shape you have chosen makes my yogurt moment a claustrophobic one. The walls of your container are not open and liberating but instead feel like they are closing in on my food and trying to keep me from it. Does any one at the company ever mention this in staff meetings? I would. And just did, even though I am off the clock and not a part of your staff.

Finally, that little ridge at the bottom of the container. That is what prompted this whole comment. That ridge causes me to scrape and dig for the last few spoonfuls of my cool white treat. I don't like the effort it takes and I don't like the sound it makes as I scrape. And it is even worse when others are scraping. It is as annoying as the sound of some one slurping up the last bit of Slurpee or Jamba Juice. (Do you have those where you are?)

So that is what I think. I love your product and am out of love with the container. Will you please design one that works with me and not against me?

Feel free to contact me with any questions you may have. And I am sorry about the tongue licking part. I don't like to talk about that and I am sure the visual is not very pleasant.

Mark Elliot


  1. Whoa! Are you telling me that you're the reason they switched to the vastly improved containers?

  2. The little ridge at the bottom is actually new-ish. They found that squirrels and such were getting a hold of the containers and getting them stick on their heads. The ridge is to help prevent this.
    I know this sounds silly but it's true! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yoplait