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I wish to add to the howls of protest regarding plain chocolate Hobnobs. I know Nicey, that you are not responsible for the demise of the product but I’m sure the marketing folk at McVities scrutinise your website closely and probably use it as some sort of cheap focus group.
I agree with everything you say about your opinions on the downfall of the PCH. The PCH is a unique product occupying a niche in the market that is not filled elsewhere. At a push I suspect PCH fans will resort to the plain uncoated product but I suspect few, if any, would consider the hazelnut, caramel or orange alternatives which are nouveau arrivistes lacking sublety and flavour.
I think McVities have acquired a somewhat scattergun approach of late to their products. They seem to want to stick any old topping, coating or filling on a biscuit and see if it’ll fly in the marketplace. These new products may briefly grasp the attention of the public but few I doubt have the integrity and qualities of the PCH that will ensure their long-term survival in the hurly-burly world of biscuits. They are tinkering dangerously with their range, their marketing budget to get these new products recognized must be horrific and to what end? Most of them will have died away in a few years time to be replaced with some other flash-in-the-pan, gimcrack biscuit with equally transient credentials.
McVities! Sort your act out!
Can we Plain Chocolate Hobnob protesters have an icon please? Perhaps a coffin would be appropriate.
Keep up the good work.
|Nicey replies: What ever NCOTAASD is it shouldn't need to be picking through the bones of a biscuit crisis providing angst ridden feedback at this late hour. Customer service departments, and I have always heard good reports about McVities, are the main interface for listening to your customers. How a company chooses to propagate that feedback is a matter for their own creativity. Now obviously it would presumptuous of me to guess how UB works internally but any large companies I have worked for have tried to include feedback from their customer services dept in strategic planning for their product ranges. Mind you how many people felt aggrieved that they were being forced to buy Plain Chocolate HobNobs in needlessly expensive tubes and silently just switched to most probably Plain Chocolate Digestives. Its difficult to pick up on such things just by looking at run rates and listening to orders coming through from business customers unless you fully engage in a real dialogue with your customers.
Lets hope they see sense and put some back in cellophane and do some kind of promotion to grab peoples attention to the fact.
Yes you're right we need an icon.
||It was with a heavy heart that I read your headline this morning re Dark Choccie Hobnobs. I had a suspicion that they were becoming rarer, but now I am devastated. I will just have to make my own from now on. McVities, you have dropped a clanger with this. Lets hope some far-sighted supermarket will grasp the oaty baton and start to make their own version. Of course the ultimate irony is that McVities will probably make them! As long as they don't have that stupid tube, I'll be happy.|
I think they have tried to please all men with all things. Milk chocolate orange Hobnobs are just plain wrong. I have previously made my own dark chocolate orange Hobnobs, and concluded that taste-wise, there was too much going on. But, with the Blitz spirit that made this country what it is, no ginormous biscuit corporation is going to deprive me of my biscuity delights, no sir!
Sorry, just a bit emotional there.
||Re: Plain Chocolate HobNobs|
Well yet again some spotty Herbert of a marketing guru gets involved and buggers up a perfectly good products then when it falls in sales they ditch it as it must be the public not wanting it… couldn’t possibly be the public reacting to the changes. Maybe for once they should reverse their changes and see what happens to sales.
|Robin and Danielle
||Hello Nicey and Wifey|
We only found your website three days ago by complete accident, and now it’s the most favourite of our favourites. It’s especially appreciated, since we live in Romania, where the selection of biscuits in the shops is dire, and the black tea is prohibitively expensive (they all drink fruit teas here, for their supposed health benefits). Anyway, the way I stumbled across you was that I was trying to do a Google search for a biscuit called ‘Decadent’ that existed for a brief time in Britain in the late 1980’s (I think). It lived up to its name – it was big, loaded with chocolate chunks and other stuff, expensive and superb. Do you (or any readers) remember it and know what happened to it?
Best wishes, Robin and Danielle
|Nicey replies: In the late 1980s my life style was very far from decadent, and I was probably subsisting on large packets of GingerNuts and the odd Digestive. So I never tangled with these biscuits, although they do sound very shoulder pads and loads of money.|
|Mrs Sarah Mint-Viscount
||Dear Nicey, Wifey & YMOS,|
While looking through the feedback section of NCOTAASD, I noticed various postings on the subject of kettles, and all the talk of kettles reminded me of the time I spent in County Kerry, and the strange kettle-y activity that went on while I was there.
I was there for about a year doing a course, and it turned out to be a place of real significance to me in tea-related terms. First of all, I had foolishly neglected to develop a taste for tea previous to doing that course, but while there, I finally discovered the love for a nice brew. This probably happened because of the canteen’s policy of charging (a lot) for all non-tea beverages e.g. orange juice, but not charging anything for the tea. It’s the old story: student meets free food/drink, student falls in love with the free food/drink - textbook stuff really
Second of all, it was in Kerry that I encountered an exciting new sport: Kettle Racing. A fellow student from Galway had played this unusual sport on a previous stint at student life, and he showed us the way. Basically what it involved was the following: whenever there was a house party, everyone was encouraged to bring the kettles from their own houses. Then, at some point during the evening, we would all congregate with them in the kitchen, and an adjudicator would be appointed (a neutral, who hadn’t brought a kettle). The kettles were emptied, lined up, and plugged in. The adjudicator would then take out a measuring jug and put a precise 1 litre of water into each kettle, ensuring that everybody’s water was equally cold…. and it was “On your buttons, set, GO”.
Naturally, we all got feverish with excitement as we waited to see whose kettle would get to clicking-off point first - well you can imagine the sort of emotion it would stir up. When your trusty kettle – the water boiler extraordinaire, and source of so many a good cuppa - is pitted against other kettles, you badly, badly want it to win. No-one wants some upstart kettle from down the road to be considered superior. So there were shreaks and roars as each person urged on their kettle, the representive of their house: “Come on 27 Millroad Crescent”… “Go on 15 Killeen Drive”. Unfortunately it did get nasty occasionally as people couldn’t come to terms with their kettle being beaten. So there would be accusations thrown around, about elements being pre-warmed with a boiling immediately prior to the race preparations, or overfilling by an allegedly impartial adjudicator. These unpleasantries aside, it was, all-in-all, a good giggle.
I know some people will immediately disapprove, thinking of the environmental impact of all those kettles being boiled unnecessarily, but I would point out in our defence that the kettle races held us all in such thrall that pretty much every other electrical device was abandoned while the race went on – every playstation, DVD player, television, CD player or radio was switched off as we focused on the exciting events in the kitchen.
Anyway, I just wondered if anyone else has played this outside of Co. Kerry, or indeed Ireland. I have a suspicion that, if at all, the sport will only be found amongst other students (Kings and Queens of too-much-time-on-your-hands activities).
|Nicey replies: I think we could only condone such a environmentally dubious sport if all the boiled water was used to make tea for the needy.|