Have you noticed on more and more products you buy at the grocery store and department stores now say "distributed by" instead of "made in"?
I've noticed that more and more on products I buy lately particular store brands of potato chips, cheese crackers, and chewing gum.
Case in point...potato chips. Target has a well known store brand known as "Market Pantry" for some food products and Archer Farms as another one.
On a recent browse in the local (and sometimes friendly) Target, I stumbled upon a 12 ounce bag of plain ruffled potato chips under the Market Pantry brand. Curious that I am in the wake of food scares from China I checked the packaging for some clue of where the product is actually made.
The potato chips proclaimed they were distributed by Target stores but that's all the packaging wrote.
Not to be dismayed, I called the store customer care center when I got home to ask about their product and where it was manufactured.
A friendly representative (let's call him Adam) answered the phone and told me Target's policy was they couldn't disclose where some actual food products are manufactured because they didn’t know. He also said that some particular food products are branded with the Target name but produced in locations not known to him or his customer service area.
He told me he felt the questionable potato chips, cheese crackers, and frozen chicken tenders were made in the United States but he couldn't be for sure because the products do not show the country of origin in his information kept on products at his desk.
I thanked him and then thought better of this questioning why stores can't or won't know where products are manufactured when a consumer line states to call for additional product information.
I went to target.com and penned a friendly email asking this same question again.
Here's what I wrote:
"I recently called your guest relations number, 1-800-316-6151 inquiring on your store brand Market Pantry cheese crackers and potato chips.
A nice representative by the name of “Adam” took my phone call but told me as of right now he couldn’t tell me where the actual product was manufactured. I’m concerned about food products made in China and sent to the United States being less than safe to consume.
The reason for this email is a concern of the products offered for sale by Target. It seems a company as large as your company is in the United States that you’d be able to know where certain food products are manufactured, especially when the packaging only states as distributed by Target Corporation but does not have anything on the package to state where it was manufactured.
Would anyone else in your company be able to know or tell where this product was actually manufactured? In my viewpoint, it would be an advantage to tell that on the label instead of stating your company distributes the product. Otherwise I’d by Lance crackers and skip your store brand because I know for sure from that company customer service they are manufactured in Charlotte, North Carolina. Likewise I'd purchase Lays (nobody can just eat one) chips because I know for 100% certainty they are a product of U.S. origins.
Thank you for your time and any information you can share on this question of product origin."
I received a reply by email when I came home thanking me sincerely for inquiring about Target food products. The letter said (paraphrasing here) Target continually values the relationship between supplier and company and both work to continually make process improvements for food safety, production, and distribution in guidelines with product safety. The form email thanked me for contacting Target and said they "hope to see me again soon at my local Target store."
I didn't really get an answer I wanted from the website so I replied back to the person who personally emailed me and said thank you for the reply but I didn't obtain the answer I was looking for posed in the original email.
So far I haven't received any answer.
Oh and the cheese crackers and potato chips, they taste as good as the major brands but we still don't know where they are manufactured.
I suggested to several companies I called recently to bring back the "Made in U.S.A." symbol on packaging after the recent Cadbury candy and tainted baby milk issues of recent from food products made in China.
Heck just look at lead based paints in children's toys, the past pet food deaths caused by China, and other things tainted like Aqua dots made in china with a date rape drug inside them?
You can Google and see the recalls and the simply amazing unhealthy stuff showing up over here from China.
This Just makes me shake my head at the Chinese government apparently showing very little regard for human life and our own Food and Drug Administration allowing bad food products from China onto our grocery store shelves and frozen food departments.
Been to Dollar Tree lately? They have frozen food in some stores. Made from where? China of course. And it's $1.00 per bag as people pile in lots of it in their shopping carts.
Can you say Wild Caught but product of China?
I don't mean to infer blinding patriotism but it appears in my view that China is doing too much to sell products and has little regard for human (or baby) life both in products and food items.
Man, let's return to products made, produced, marketed, and sold in the United States sometime.
Or at least the U.S. and Canada which I can almost bet has a better track record of food safety standards.
I don't think we will be able to return to all products made in the U.S. any time soon but doing so would give me comfort to think we could.
Have a great week!!
I would think a selling point would be to share the product is made here instead of putting what company distributes the food product.
Just my two cents. I'm outta the sandbox and/or off the soapbox.