But It’s Hip To be Square! Nabisco Tests Round Saltines…

So I just found out, via a post on MorningNewsBeat.com, that Nabisco has created round Saltines. Messes with your brain, right?

Saltines are square.
Ritz crackers are round.

Katie McMahon in her take pondered why anyone in the food/retail/marketing business old enough to remember the New Coke debacle would attempt this.

By changing the shape, consistency and packaging, Nabisco managed to offend consumers on several fronts, from aesthetics to price point.

Per Katie, Nabisco and others attempting this kind of product change need to remember a few things:

  • People can be passionate about products, especially those they grew up with that have resonance beyond taste.
  • Older consumers are not shy about venting via the Internet.
  • Packaging really does matter. Losing the “sleeve” was not well-received. It was counted on for portion control and freshness.

Nabisco just did the test in the New York metro and New England markets, but there was enough blow-back that hopefully the company will abandon their attempt to make Saltines “relevant in a contemporary way.” There are some things that shouldn’t be mucked with.


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