January 27, 2014

Lipton tea without sugar contains sugar

Filed under: Food & Drink by Branko Collin @ 1:59 pm

lipton-tea-evan-amosIrony is alive! Lipton is currently running an ad campaign on TV with Dutch beauty Nicolette van Dam telling her fake mother how ‘regular’ their regular tea is and therefore still tasty. Their regular tea however is anything but regular, Keuringsdienst van Waarde discovered.

Presumably when Lipton says ‘regular’ it means ‘tastes just like the competition’s’, but consumer watchdog Keuringsdienst van Waarde seemed to suspect something more devious going on. They found little clumps of something that tasted like chewing gum (the flavour expert they consulted narrowed it down to Bazooka—man, that word is a time machine!) hidden among the tea.

After half an hour of fruitless phone calls and visiting experts—the tea expert explained that tea is made of leaves, not of clumps—the solution to the mystery was presented. Lipton apparently adds sugar to its tea to mask its mediocre (perhaps we should say ‘regular’) flavour. So that is how you can drink tea, no sugar, with sugar after all.

(I wrote down the adjectives in the Lipton commercial by the way, here they are: regular, regular, regular, good, lekker, lekker, regular, lovely, rich, smooth.)

(Photo by Evan Amos who released it into the public domain)

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October 28, 2012

Douwe Egberts admits its Senseo coffee has been weak

Filed under: Food & Drink by Branko Collin @ 1:20 pm

Dutch coffee makers Douwe Egberts have been reducing the amount of coffee in the pods for its Senseo system for years, Volkskrant reports.

The newspaper quotes CEO Michiel Herkemij, who blames former parent company Sara Lee. The amount of coffee in the pods was reduced from 7.5 grams to 7 grams to cut costs. Now that Douwe Egberts is its own company again (called “D. E. Master Blenders”), the missing half gram has been returned to the pods.

It appears the coffee maker wants to go back to competing on quality rather than price. Earlier this year Herkemij told NRC: “If you lower the quality you open the door for white labels. Their pods are 20% cheaper and yet have the same quality as ours. When I worked for Heineken I learned that the only way to distinguish yourself is with better products.”

Herkemij also wants to ditch the recent style of advertising which involved celebrities like Doutzen Kroes and Rutger Hauer and return to the cosy mood of yesteryear’s ads that used the slogan “het aroma komt je tegemoet” (‘the smell of coffee greets you’).

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September 26, 2009

Nespresso most expensive cup of coffee

Filed under: Food & Drink by Branko Collin @ 1:08 pm

Consumentenbond compared the prices of making a single cup of coffee in regular households and came up with the following figures, according to Z24 (Dutch):

  • Instant: 3 euro cent.
  • Regular (using a coffee filter): 4 euro cent.
  • Aldi pods for Senseo: 5 euro cent.
  • Albert Heijn pods for Senseo: 7 euro cent.
  • Official Douwe Egberts pods for Senseo: 9 euro cent.
  • Nespresso: 33 euro cent.

Of course, the real coffee snobs own (or want to own) their personal espresso machine. Senseo pods are called pads in the Netherlands, but when Philips and Douwe Egberts decided to export their product they wisely chose to avoid any associations with women’s hygienic products. The Albert Heijn figure was added by me.

I switched to Senseo myself, because using the regular method you never end up with just a single cup, and instant coffee is just vile.

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