Boca Letter


Boca is a division of Kraft so you can write to Kraft at that address:
Betsy Holden, CEO Kraft Foods Three Lakes
Drive Northfield, IL 60093 1-847-646-2000

Dear Boca,
I do have questions and comments. These revolve around your marketing (or production?) strategies of having the "red box" (non-organic/GMO) and "white-box" (organic/non-GMO) Boca products. As a consumer, I choose organic products whenever possible (probably 95-98% of the food I buy) and STRICTLY non-GMO for ethical and health reasons. You might say that therefore I should just choose your "white box" products,
but it is more complicated than that, for many reasons. For one thing, sometimes your formulas differ between versions of the same product--and for some maddening reason, the "conventional" (red box) one tastes better or has better texture. And this will tempt people toward an inferior product. Case in point: breakfast patties. I choose the white-box version *only* because of the organic/GMO ingredient issue. This is a compromise, because the red-box version has a better texture and far superior taste. And although my ethics are so rigorous that I will make that compromise, many people won't. I see this firsthand as my partner continues to choose the red-box version. I don't like having him exposed to the very real dangers of genetic engineering just to have a better-tasting, firmer breakfast patty!

Why should the lower-quality patty taste better? Is this the message you want to give? Why even tempt people with a version that is ethically, morally, and environmentally inferior? It does not seem to be up to the standards of a product that promotes vegetarian diets and lifestyles. If you really cared about the planet and human health, you would simply do away with all the GMO/non-organic soy, stop supporting this global science experiment on innocent human guinea pigs, and put forth only great-tasting organic products. Other companies are doing it. I see no reason why you can't replace the exact same formula for the red-box patties with organic, non-GMO soy.

Then, there is the issue that some stores only stock the red-box products, so i can't always get the white-box versions. I have to go to different stores to get what i need.

It is mind-boggling to me that you feel the need to produce two versions of every product--and then charge more for the one that is clearly better for everyone. It is very confusing marketing (it took even me, a very savvy shopper and label-reader, some time to figure out what the difference was). I don't mind paying the 50 cents to $1 extra for the white-box products, but other people WILL care, and although it is mystifying to me, WILL choose the inferior product to save a buck or two--IF given the choice.

If you didn't give them that choice, they would buy the only Boca products available. Again, this would be better for their health, protect them from the risks of genetically modified foods, and help in the fight against world market domination by genetically engineered soy.

It seems to me your costs must be greater because of having to print two sets of boxes, deal with two sets of production, marketing and inventory channels. Surely it would be cheaper for you as well as simpler to produce one set of boxes and deal with one inventory channel.

Even if you lost some customers because all Boca products became slightly more expensive (and again, I would imagine you could save costs on packaging and pass that on to consumers), you will gain far more loyalty from customers like me who are always willing to spend an extra buck to get the organic/non-GMO.

I will continue to buy the white-box products, but I strongly urge you to consolidate your product line so that you are not offering an inferior, genetically modified product that supports conventional agriculture that is toxic to people and planet alike. If you build only one superior product line, people will come to that product line.

My interest in this is not merely personal. I am a health author who has published two popular books, and I plan to write more food-related books. I maintain an active website that helps people make food choices that are good for them and the environment, and I am in a position to alert people to issues with products, and to steer them toward those I think are healthiest, safest and most ethical. I maintain a popular food brands recommendations list on my site. If I find sources for burgers, breakfast products, and other meat alternatives in a good-tasting brand that uses only organic and non-GMo ingredients, I will publish that.

Robyn Landis
Author, BodyFueling® and Herbal Defense


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