Little Debbie

Posted on: Tue, 02/21/2006 - 2:37pm
starlight's picture
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Joined: 01/16/2004 - 09:00

I've written up a letter to Little Debbie because all I wanted this Christmas was a Christmas Tree snack cake and apparently they haven't gotten on the allergy-aware bandwagon yet. People started writing to Little Debbie at this thread: [url="http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/Forum11/HTML/000094.html"]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/Forum11/HTML/000094.html[/url]
But it died out in 2000 and we STILL can't have Little Debbie! So I was hoping by putting this on the main board instead of "Take Action" that maybe we could start up the letter writing again.

I was also wondering if anyone has any current contact info? I'm planning on emailing my letter but it'd be good to send a paper copy too.

Here's my letter:

To whom it may concern:

My name is Amanda **** and I am 23 years old and peanut allergic. Some of my fondest memories of childhood involved Little Debbie Snackcakes, including Girl Scout meetings and play dates with friends. My favorites were the Christmas Trees.

However, all of your products have now been labeled as being unsafe for peanut allergic individuals. I anxiously awaited the day your company would follow suit with other companies such as Dare, Hostess, and Just Born and designate one or more of your facilities as peanut-free. I was stunned to check the Christmas Trees this December and find that years later, your policies and facilities still have not changed. On your website, I only saw 3 products that actually contain nuts, so while I know the change would be difficult to make, I believe it is not impossible and would benefit both peanut allergic individuals and your company.

A change in your manufacturing practices would have a SIGNIFICANT increase in your net profit. Currently, 5% of American children are peanut allergic, and this number is continuing to grow. While 5% may seem a small number, the number grows exponentially when you figure in the rest of the variables. Very few adults with peanut-allergic children allow "may contain" items in their homes, therefore you are losing not only the profit from children buying a snack at lunch, but from their parents as well. Additionally, grandparents, aunts and uncles, cousins, and friends of the peanut allergic child will end up puchasing Hostess products for when the child visits (and many will continue to only buy Hostess on principle). Finally, more and more schools are becoming peanut-free. This means that many cafeterias will stop selling Little Debbie Snack Cakes, and the cakes will be eliminated from scout meetings, sporting events, classroom parties, lunches sent from home, etc.

As you can see, what begins as 1 out of 20 children not being able to eat your products may, in the case of a large town, become 2000 children not able to eat your products due to a peanut ban in their school cafeteria. In fact, in Toronto, they recently banned peanut products in all city vending machines. Many other companies are becoming more allergy-aware and creating peanut-free facilities, and it would be prudent for Little Debbie to join them.

I am writing to ask you to please reconsider your manufacturing not only for your benefit, but for mine. I deeply miss being able to enjoy Little Debbie treats, and I will be your first customer when one of your facilites becomes peanut-free.

Posted on: Tue, 02/21/2006 - 9:08pm
anonymous's picture
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Joined: 05/28/2009 - 16:42

Very well-written. If more companies understood that PA doesn't only affect the individual, but all consumers who have regular contact with the individual, I think we'd have a lot more products to choose from.

Posted on: Tue, 02/21/2006 - 11:35pm
TarynsDad's picture
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Joined: 02/14/2006 - 09:00

Quote:Originally posted by starlight:
[b]Currently, 5% of American children are peanut allergic, and this number is continuing to grow. [/b]
Is it really 5%? I'm not arguing or anything, I just didnt think it was that high. I'm just curious where that data comes from because I would like to read it.
Tim

Posted on: Wed, 02/22/2006 - 1:18am
starlight's picture
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Joined: 01/16/2004 - 09:00

Honestly, I didn't really reread the letter before I sent it. I was way overtired when I came up with the idea to write and I put in the number that came to mind and stupidly forgot about editing it over. I know about 6-8% of children have *food* allergies but I'm not sure about the peanuts.
Thanks for asking about it though, I had completely forgotten about that and
I'll be sending them a revised version with corrected numbers and an apology.

Posted on: Wed, 02/22/2006 - 1:27am
TarynsDad's picture
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Joined: 02/14/2006 - 09:00

You dont have to do that....I wasnt, in anyway trying to argue your numbers. I just was curious if it was 5 percent.
Its a great letter, and I wish all the time that Little Debbie snacks were "safe" for the same reasons. I grew up eating them and my daughter will never know what a zebra cake or a starburst tastes like... [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/wink.gif[/img]
It is a great letter though, I was just curious.
Tim

Posted on: Wed, 02/22/2006 - 3:06am
lillielady's picture
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Joined: 12/30/2005 - 09:00

Starlight,
Very well written letter! I will gladly join your letter writing campaign and contact Little Debbie.
My DD has been PA for 2+ years now. One of the most difficult foods for her to give up was Little Debbie brownies and other snack cakes. She still talks about it when she sees them in the grocery store. "Why don't they just make them safe?," she asks. "It can be done!," she says. She's right!
Thanks for getting this started again...
Lisa

Posted on: Wed, 02/22/2006 - 6:37am
Tom's picture
Tom
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Joined: 01/22/2006 - 09:00

I love little debbie. Especially the Boston Cream cakes. Didn't know they weren't peanut safe. They don't bother me.
I think maybe sometimes people take the label warnings a bit far. I am not going to stop eating LD because of the warning since it never bothered me. Who really knows what the extent of the possible cross contam might be? It might be a thing where they manufacture them in the same area as peanut products, but acutal contam might not ever happen. I guess it depends on what the laws say on labeling for cross contam. I'd hate to give up on certain foods just because of a label warning. Sometimes you gotta just go with experience, imo.

Posted on: Tue, 02/21/2006 - 9:08pm
anonymous's picture
Offline
Joined: 05/28/2009 - 16:42

Very well-written. If more companies understood that PA doesn't only affect the individual, but all consumers who have regular contact with the individual, I think we'd have a lot more products to choose from.

Posted on: Tue, 02/21/2006 - 11:35pm
TarynsDad's picture
Offline
Joined: 02/14/2006 - 09:00

Quote:Originally posted by starlight:
[b]Currently, 5% of American children are peanut allergic, and this number is continuing to grow. [/b]
Is it really 5%? I'm not arguing or anything, I just didnt think it was that high. I'm just curious where that data comes from because I would like to read it.
Tim

Posted on: Wed, 02/22/2006 - 1:18am
starlight's picture
Offline
Joined: 01/16/2004 - 09:00

Honestly, I didn't really reread the letter before I sent it. I was way overtired when I came up with the idea to write and I put in the number that came to mind and stupidly forgot about editing it over. I know about 6-8% of children have *food* allergies but I'm not sure about the peanuts.
Thanks for asking about it though, I had completely forgotten about that and
I'll be sending them a revised version with corrected numbers and an apology.

Posted on: Wed, 02/22/2006 - 1:27am
TarynsDad's picture
Offline
Joined: 02/14/2006 - 09:00

You dont have to do that....I wasnt, in anyway trying to argue your numbers. I just was curious if it was 5 percent.
Its a great letter, and I wish all the time that Little Debbie snacks were "safe" for the same reasons. I grew up eating them and my daughter will never know what a zebra cake or a starburst tastes like... [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/wink.gif[/img]
It is a great letter though, I was just curious.
Tim

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