Korifaeus Magazine

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ALTOIDS – The Real thing or harmful Counterfeits

Food Safety
by Korifaeus

For years i’ve enjoyed Peppermint Altoids; natural and refreshing. A few days ago i went to buy a new tin of Peppermint Altoids, but the red color of the logo of the box seemed a little bit different. Back home i still had another Altoid tin thus able to compare, and sure enough, the red was indeed darker. But not only the color red was different, it also stated ” With other natural flavors”, as opposed to the usual ” 100% Natural”.

Turning the new tin around it also seemed that the print on the back was in a different placement compared to the other box. Another thing that struck me as somewhat odd was the very strong Peppermint smell exuding from the still closed tin. Thus opened the tin and took a whiff, comparing it to the smell from the other box and it smelled ” different” – stronger and with a slight undertone of something reminding me of artificial peppermint oil.
Not something i’d put in my mouth.

Here the photo i took of both boxes. You can click to enlarge.

I went back to the store, told the store owner of my observation and we compared the new Altoid tins to the one he had still left from the prior package. Different in appearance, if only slightly, but different enough to notice, but also different in smell. I exchanged the new Altoid tin i’d bought for the one left-over from the prior package.

I compared the individual Altoids and discovered there is also a different in size. The ones from the tin stating 100% natural are smaller compared to the ones from the tin that states ” with other natural flavors”, see photo below.
You can click to enlarge

I took a screenshot from the official Altoids website showing the product, see photo, which states 100 % Natural. If some of their products have different labels would it not seem logical that they’d point that out ?
Screen Shot 2015-12-28 at 3.28.01 PM

Trying to do the right thing, in case i was dealing with a counterfeit product, i contacted Altoids via their website, explaining the aforementioned and inquiring if perhaps they made changes or if i’m dealing with a counterfeit product ? There was no possibility to add the photo i took of the tinss and mentioned i took a photo for their review. Surely, i believed, they’ll reply asking me to send a photo, so to assure themselves it’s not a counterfeit product being sold in the U.S. to assure the safety of their customers ?

Here is the reply i received from Altoids/Wrigley today.

Subject: In response to your Website comments # {ticketno:[8000701557]}
Date: December 28, 2015 11:02:15 AM EST

Hi Leagan,
Thanks for taking the time to contact the Wrigley Company.  We really care about your questions and feedback.
We’ve included some materials with this response that we think will be useful per your comments.
We do sometimes change the labeling. We have not changed anything in the ingredients in our Altoids.
If you have any additional questions or comments feel free to contact us at 1-800-WRIGLEY (974-4539)  Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. CST or visit us at http://www.wrigley.com.
Have a sweet day!
Jo White
Customer Care Representative

1. They say they really care about my question and feedback.
Oh ? Is that why they replied with a non-reply email, which is rather disrespectful to customers inquiring about the safety of their product, thus help protect them, too ?

2. They say they ” sometimes” change the labeling. Ok, but has he labeling for THIS specific product changed ? And how exactly is Mr. Jo White able to know if the product i bought is counterfeit unless he asks to see a photo ? Wrigleys doesn’t care to see the photo ? They don’t care if there are possible counterfeits sold ? And what about the well being of their customers ? They don’t care if there may be possible harmful counterfeits being sold, able to jeopardize the well being of Altoids customers ?

I’ll finish the Altoids tin i now have and will not buy a new one after that. If a company does not respect their customers enough to give a straight and specific answer, especially when it comes to food and possibly harmful counterfeits, then they don’t deserve me as their customer.



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