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The emails we got last week weren’t just responding to the Christmas commentary.

We got some equally impassioned emails on another subject.


MNB took note of a Wall Street Journal story about how four fruitcake manufacturers filed a petition with the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), asking that the official serving size of fruitcake by cut by two-thirds. The fruitcake manufacturers concede that one serving of fruitcake as currently defined is "overindulgent” and “probably unhealthy,” and hope that by reducing the serving size they can reduce some of their products’ reputation for…heft. They want fruitcake to be in a different classification than cheesecake, with which it currently is lumped.

We commented: Here’s another difference between fruitcake and cheesecake.

Cheesecake generally is edible. Fruitcake usually makes a pretty good doorstop.

Well, you’d be amazed (or maybe you wouldn’t) how many passionate fruitcake lovers there are out there.

One MNB user wrote:

Fruitcake is an acquired taste as is scotch, beer, wine and many other fine food items. There are hundreds of lousy fruitcakes out there, but if you ever find a good one you'll understand. I hated fruitcake and made doorstop jokes for years and years, but I've come to enjoy it occasionally. Mostly because I found some great fruitcake.

Sure, I still make doorstop jokes, but I really do enjoy a slice of fruitcake on occasion.

Another MNB user chimed in:

Ah. But you never tasted my Grandmother's Fruitcake. You can make the cake yourself, or you can buy any ol' Fruitcake, it doesn't matter. But if you carefully wrap it in cheesecloth like she did, and for the entire Thanksgiving to Christmas time frame keep drizzling it with Southern Comfort or Ezra, George, or Jack (Brooks, Dickel, and Daniels respectively).....ah!....... the fabulousness of that cake....! It will make you the biggest fruitcake fan in the world! It also helps get through the difficult holiday times with family.....just keep serving the fruitcake!

Does she have an extra-strength fruitcake recipe for holidays with in-laws?

Just kidding…

Yet another MNB user wrote:

You are misaligning the millions of people who look forward to their pounds of joy each year. I happen to know that if you soak a fruitcake in a fifth of good rum (large plastic freezer bag) it will taste better with each bite.

We also got a bunch of emails saying pretty much the same thing…

MNB user John Tatum wrote:

A fruitcake from the Collins Street bakery in Corsicana Texas will have you eating your words!!!

Another MNB user wrote:

Have you ever eaten a Collins Street Bakery, Corsicana, Texas, fruit cake?

Best in the world next to Mom's.

And MNB user Lyn Howe wrote:

I know what most people think, but they haven't eaten Collin Street Bakery's fruitcake or Assumption Abbey's. You won't believe your mouth!

We had a story Friday about Dale Riley’s new Fresh Seasons store in the Twin Cities, and MNB user David Livingston wrote in over the weekend to give us an update:

I had the pleasure of going to Mr. Riley's grand opening on Saturday. The new Fresh Season's Market takes the best ideas and condenses them into about 25,000 sq. ft. The store was packed and the parking lot was full. Not only will sales per square foot be high at this store but also talent and execution.

We wrote on Friday that Jamba Juice outlets being installed in nine Safeway stores were the first placed in other venues.

MNB user Mike Gantt wrote:

Isn't there a Jamba Juice outlet in the Whole Foods store in Columbus Circle in NYC? I visited that store in July (my first trip ever to the city) and had a smoothie-type drink there. Perhaps the store was sort of "across the hall" or something from WF but it seemed to me like they were in the same space. And that particular Whole Foods store itself was…simply fantastic!

Another MNB user wrote:

You said it was JJ's first move into other retail venues. Actually the new Whole Foods at the Time Warner Center has had a JJ in it since it first opened.

We stand corrected.

MNB also reported on Friday about published reports out of New Zealand say that there is a controversy there about a new non-alcoholic “Kid’s Beer” that was created in Japan and now is on the verge of being exported. The drink is sold in brown glass bottles, has a frothy head when poured, includes guarana, and tastes like a cola. Packaging for the product has cartoon characters and reportedly includes the slogan, "Even kids cannot stand life unless they have a drink".

A watchdog group in New Zealand, Alcohol Healthwatch, says that it is an “ugly, sick and shocking” way to get young people to start drinking, and that it will fight the sale of the product in New Zealand.

Our view: Kudos to the folks in New Zealand, who clearly see this as the disgrace it is – a craven and cynical way to encourage inappropriate behavior in impressionable young people.

By the way, it doesn’t take packaged products to encourage this kind of nonsense. In the town where we live, there have been occasional controversies when parents have hosted birthday cards for the their kids where they served pizza and non-alcoholic beer. Which is just absurd.

Of course, the fault here doesn’t lie with the manufacturers. It lies with idiot parents.

MNB user Scott Fien wrote:

The story about the Japanese beer for kids brought to mind trips to the Fanny Farmer store when I was just a kid myself. I’d never leave without my chocolate cigarettes, which, of course, came in a cool blue case. Ugh! Now excuse my while I retire to my den to enjoy my bubble gum cigar.

Another MNB user wrote:

Curious, but how do you feel about ‘Root Beer’ and ‘Birch Beer’ sold in dark bottle at Pizza establishments across the US?

Could be the marketing angle, but the product doesn’t sound at all like a novel concept.

Root beer and birch beer have been around forever, so that doesn’t bother us. What is upsetting about this new product is how the marketing tries to make it like “real drinking,” which just strikes us as irresponsible.

And MNB user Sriram Daita wrote:

I would never let kids touch alcohol. As my Dad told me, “Son you can drink, smoke and have other vices on your own money not on mine”

They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. Kids therefore are bound to ape their parents. So if you want to discourage your kids from drinking the parents need to stop drinking. Let us stop blaming manufactures, retailers, sports/movie personalities for our bad parenting.

We actually went out of our way to put the responsibility squarely on parents’ shoulders…but that doesn’t give manufacturers and retailers license to do whatever they want.

We do disagree, however, on one point. We don’t feel that we have to give up alcohol to give the message to our kids that it is inappropriate and illegal for them to drink. We’ve reached adulthood (though some might disagree that we act like an adult). They haven’t.

In OffBeat on Friday, we suggested that when New Jersey Sen. Jon Corzine becomes governor and appoints his replacement, he should think about three words: Senator Bruce Springsteen.

But MNB user Debra Hufford had a four-word alternative:

Senator Jon Bon Jovi?

We love it…

Can you imagine his first speech in the Senate?

I ain't gonna be just a face in the crowd
You're gonna hear my voice
When I shout it out loud…
KC's View: