Wheat Thins Manufacturer (Kraft) Talks To Snack Girl

Wheat Thins - Kraft Response

August 10, 2010   41 Comments

Last week, Snack Girl posted Whole Grain vs Original Wheat Thins and pointed out the differences between 100% Whole Grain Wheat Thins and Original Wheat Thins.

If you read the post, you read that I had contacted Kraft regarding the fact that the 100% Whole Grain version didn't look as healthy as the original.

Well, it only took them 5 days to get back to me and I actually spoke to a company representative, Basil Maglaris. I have posted his e-mail below.

I realize that some of my readers might be wondering why I even talk to major food corporations since they create stuff like the McDonald's Frappe. BUT, I think that they are here to stay and that we should engage them in a dialogue to influence them to produce healthier products.

For example, Michael Pollan slammed Whole Foods. Then, he met with their CEO and their meeting seemed to produce results. Here is a letter that Pollan sent to Whole Foods: Michael Pollan's Second Letter To Whole Foods.

So, I give credit to Kraft for engaging a critic and creating a dialogue. Thanks!

Finally, if any of you have questions for Basil regarding the Wheat Thins, I will happily get him to answer them and post his response here on Snack Girl.

From Kraft:

We began improving several of our Wheat Thins varieties in August 2009 and your box of Original Wheat Thins is one of them – we removed the high fructose corn syrup, reduced the sodium by 10%, and more than doubled the whole grain content from 5g to 11g per serving.

The current “100% Whole Grain” Wheat Thins hasn’t undergone some of the same recipe changes so when you compare the two products, you’re correct that there are noticeable differences in their recipes.

As you’ve heard, our plans are to increase the whole grain content of Original Wheat Thins to 100% whole grain. When we make the transition to 100% whole grain for Original Wheat Thins, we’ll be discontinuing the “100% Whole Grain” Wheat Thins you see on shelf today, along with its old recipe.

I’m happy to address your question on fiber as well. When we release our new Original Wheat Thins with 100% whole grain, it will have 3g fiber per serving.

Our current “100% Whole Grain” Wheat Thins on shelf was introduced several years ago and since then the technology for measuring fiber content has advanced. The Whole Grains Council confirms that 22g of whole grain wheat delivers 3g of fiber. Our new Original Wheat Thins will reflect that.

Many Americans are falling far short of the minimum three recommended servings of whole grains each day. We feel we’re offering many ways for people to get more whole grain in their diets while enjoying the foods they already love like Wheat Thins.

Thank you again for sharing your concerns and we hope you continue to enjoy Wheat Thins in the future.

Sincerely, Basil Maglaris

Basil T. Maglaris
Associate Director, Corporate Affairs
Kraft Foods Inc.

Have any questions for Basil? Post them here!!

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41 Comments:

Awesome! Good to know there is a dialogue and that people are actually listening to each other. We often forget in this fast paced world that things take time to change. Packaging has to be remade, factories have to be re-tooled, recipes have to be reformulated and tested. We forget that when this is on such a HUGE scale, it can take years - often more time than we would like. A dialogue is the first step. Thanks!!

on August 10, 2010

Smart companies are waking up. Companies used to laugh at blogs until they realized how many people are getting their information from them now. Many blogs are becoming just as influential as traditional media outlets, and smart companies will pay attention.

So congrats Snack Girl! The fact that so many companies are willing to respond to you when you question them is proof of how successful your blog has become!

on August 10, 2010

Paul - Thanks so much for saying I am successful - I am certainly working on it. I think that bloggers have a say and as long as we are professional - we can influence public policy, food manufacturers, elections, etc. I try really hard to be accurate as I can without the use of a newsroom.
I'm not sure what to say to McD's about the Frappe though. (I can only think of obscene things :)

on August 10, 2010

Sadly, I don't know if it's reasonable to try to get companies to discard all unhealthy choices. There will always be a market for such products.

Personally, I don't even mind if a company has some bad choices, as long as they offer good choices to those of us who want them. Until recently though, there were no good choices at McDonald's, including their salads! It was through the efforts of blogs and consumers like this, though, that started getting fast food joints to start offering things like apples instead of fries, milk instead of soda, etc.

I like this blog because it informs on things that appear healthy, but really aren't. It alerts me to super-unwise choices at restaurants. It gives me fun and interesting ideas to try. And maybe, just maybe, it generates the kind of buzz needed so that companies will pay attention and pay more attention to better ingredients rather than just spending all their money on marketing.

When you accomplish all that, you are most certainly successful.

on August 10, 2010

Thanks so much for writing about The Whole Grains Council!

on August 10, 2010

That's great Kraft responded! I have to say I bought a box of Wheat thins a few months ago and they tasted really sweet. Not like a cracker at all and I figured the recipe had changed. I am not fond of the new taste, much prefer triscuits.

In terms of asking McD's about the frappe, I'd ask if they could use nonfat milk instead or if that waters down the taste too much use half and half instead of cream. Or at least do it made to order so those of us that want a healthier option can get non fat milk :)

on August 10, 2010

I'm very impressed! Kudos to you for speaking up, and kudos to them for taking the time to respond. :)

on September 13, 2010

Um... I think you might have missed the story here. In his reply, Mr. Maglaris told you that the product Kraft markets as "Original" Wheat Thins is actually a new type of cracker with significant changes compared to the original recipe. In other words, "Original" doesn't mean original. Isn't that a glaring example of the deceptive marketing which is at the root of the problem?

Personally, I don't mind that big food companies produce unhealthy products. I can make smart choices as long as the products are labeled correctly. I do mind, however, when companies lie to me and say something is organic when it is not, or say something is low-fat when it is not. In this case, the lie of "Original" may not have adverse health consequences, but it demonstrates how untrustworthy these companies are -- they always choose market advantage over truth.

I'd be curious to know what Mr. Maglaris has to say about this, because my perception is that he and other Kraft executives don't have a clue how their products are perceived by the public. They live in a world where words mean whatever their legal department says they mean, and then are surprised when the public comes to regard them as lying bastards.

on November 13, 2010

My take on all this is that when I bought the "Original" wheat thins that's what I expected to be eating. The "new and improved" ones taste like a bland, unsalted soft cracker, more on the idea of a low-sodium Ritz cracker, just shaped differently. If I'd wanted whole grain Wheat Thins I'd have opted for that box rather than the "original" flavor! I totally agree with truth in advertising, and if the box is marked "Original" it should BE "Original". Original Wheat Thins are what people know and love, leave them alone!

on November 21, 2010

Have to agree with Madelyn - my kids noticed first that the crackers looked different (nine holes in them - unlike the pic on the box). Then we tasted them - they didn't crunch, they were soft and did not taste anything like the original wheat thins. Big bummer.

on November 24, 2010

I am in agreement with Jodi-O and her children. We noticed changes in taste and look (nine holes) upon opening our latest box of "Original Wheat Thins." Just called the 800 number, they acknowledged recipe changes noted above, but had nothing to say about the change in look. The NEW Original Wheat Thins are not as firm, therefore more susceptible to breaking when used for dips. I prefer the former taste, but am pleased that the new version is healthier. I just think that the company should acknowledge on packaging when they change a recipe, not try to pass it off as "original."

on January 11, 2011

I just bought a box of original wheat thins and hadn't had them since 2006. The new and improved original Wheat Thins are horrible. The taste and texture are completely different. I understand the health concerns, but the change made an entirely different product. These are not Wheat Thins.

on July 11, 2012

I am not liking these so called ORIGINAL Wheat Thins at all. Please bring back the real ORIGINAL ones they are much better. Guess I will havew to switch the kind of cracker I eat, plus if I choose to eat a healthier cracker I will buy a healthier cracker. now bring them back!!!

on August 24, 2012

I'm not a fan of these new original wheat thins either! Bring back the old one please!

on November 16, 2012

These "new"wheat thins are absolutely disgusting. Please bring the old ones back!

on February 15, 2013

I bought a box of Wheat Thins on a whim (not a regular staple in my diet). They were disappointing to say the least. Doughy and soft (like a stale box of WT's), bland and just not the same. Also disappointing is the "Original" on the package. Please bring back the good old crunch!

on March 27, 2013

The newer Formuation of wheat thins are sweeter than the wheat thins of old.....they are horrible....taste more like graham crackers than a wheat thin....in addition, the great texture of the older formulation as been lost.....so has my dedication to the brand......will be looking for a new favorite cracker!

on April 7, 2013

Purchased my favorite snack cracker, wheat thins
Original and noticed that they did not taste the same. The cracker is very dry,hard to chew and
has very little taste to it. Then I noticed that it said 100 % whole grain and I don't usually
buy the 100% whole grain because i don't like the
taste of that variety. I told my husband he picked up the wrong kind and he said that is all
they have on the shelf now. Does that mean that you have discontinued the delicious original
flavor that I have bought for years and replaced it with THIS ! If so I will just have to find
another snack cracker, how dissapointing. I just
don't understand why companies do this to a great
product.

on May 5, 2013

I found out about this by buying a box of "Original" wheat thins and after eating one, thinking "What did they do?" The new "original" cracker is a tasteless thing, nothing like the wheat thins I've enjoyed all my life. How said to see they will be discontinuing the old
as, like New Coke" I will never be eating Wheat thins again.

on May 14, 2013

Well we just spent Memorial Day in the great debate of WHEAT THINS...We all agreed they were horrid.soooo sweet...so no one ate them...the debate was..is it ethical to use the word original...NOT won out..now please give us our REAL ORIGINAL wheat thins back..Thank you

on May 30, 2013

I want the OLD WT back. Do not like the new ones at all.

on June 2, 2013

Is it still possible to buy the "original" original wheat thins or not? The wheat thins I got are thicker, not as flavorful(less salt) and not crunchy. They taste stale :(

on January 28, 2014

Wheat Thins were one of my favorite snack foods. The Holiday ones were very good. I bought a box of the "Original" ones, thinking they'd be the original ones, and they're awful. Like eating bland cardboard. I'm going to throw them out. If I wanted a healthy food I'd buy one. These are supposed to be a snack. I hope they bring back the originals or I'll have to find something else for holidays too.

on March 14, 2014

Seems Kraft is going the way of KFC..lets take a good product and fix it so no body wants it.....now that makes good business sense.....Joining the horrid Wheat thins is the original Mac and cheese. AWFUL !...disgustingly sweet....who is making these decissions ? Doubt if the stock holders are happy

on March 15, 2014

I just opened the box of "Original" Wheat Thins (family size, no less), and decided that they're better off in the garbage. I'm not going to waste any of my daily calories on cardboard. Apparently this has been a complaint for a while, yet the actual "original" flavor has not been brought back. You've lost another customer.

on April 12, 2014

I wrote a little while back about how awful the new "Original Wheat Thins" are. I guess the company doesn't care what the customers think. I'm thinking that some people only have them on special occasions and haven't tried the newer ones yet. I'm done buying them, end of that. I don't need or especially care if the crackers are healthy for special occasions. Neither is the big piece of cake I eat for dessert.

on April 14, 2014

I agree with the nay-sayers here. You healthy food nuts need to stay out of our snack-foods. You've done nothing but influenced the ruin of the recipes which had good flavor and replaced it with cardboard. You need to shut up, sit down, and let responsible manufacturers like Nabisco continue to provide products we LIKE. Remember what Vegetable Thins used to be!

on August 21, 2014

I will never buy Wheat Thins again. The food Nazis have ruined another classic snack. They didn't even have the courtesy to warn their customers on the box. Original means a new tasteless recipe. Bah!

on November 22, 2014

The new "original " wheat thins are horrible. They used to be my favorite and I'd eat half the box before leaving the store. Please bring back the old ones!!! How will I know they've been changed back? I will not be buying any more if the ones on the shelf now!

on November 22, 2014

I just discovered that Nabisco has ruined Ritz Crackers and Honey Grahams, too. These are flavorless crackers now. Don't waste your money.

on November 22, 2014

Now that you have made them so much healthier, they taste like cardboard. Used to be one of my favorites, now I'm done with them. My all time favorite was Twigs and look where they are now.

on January 2, 2016

I found the closest to the original wheat thins recipe at Trader Joe's. They have their version of wheat thins.

on January 5, 2016

We've bought wheat thins for years and just recently we've notice they taste like crap now. You must've changed recipe. Thanks but we'll never buy them again. You had a good product but evidently for financial gain you'll give up customers

on June 26, 2017

I eat a lot of Wheat Thins and Im very unhappy with the new recipe. I will also be looking for a different cracker. Btw there's no such thing as "new original".

on June 28, 2017

I much prefer the old ones, and yes they break easier also! I'd prefer to monitor my own nutrient intake but have what I like! The new ones are almost nasty! Where can I buy the old ones?!?

on November 1, 2017

I agree with the people that have tried the "New" not "Original Wheat Thins". I don't like these either. If they were the "Original", I'd be happy, there's no crunch, they're thicker, softer, blah. My husband bought 5 boxes of the New "Original Wheat Thins" when they were on sale. I tried one & said to my husband, these aren't the real Wheat Thins, they changed the recipe. I don't like them, so I feed them to the squirrels. We aren't buying them anymore.

on December 7, 2017

I thought I’d get some Wheat Thins as a treat for the holidays. Big mistake. They taste like the cardboard box. The new Original Wheat Thins are not worth the calories. No wonder they were on a 50% off sale. If I wanted to be healthy, I wouldn’t eat crackers in the first place.

on December 26, 2017

Sadly, I have to find another cracker and that's been hard. The new original wheat thin is now too thin and baked too long. Please change it back.

on January 1, 2018

the new 'original' wheat thins are so sad - I think I can say that for many of your customers, the flavor of the true original recipe carries fond memories of family and friends in addition to being truly delicious. I know it does for me - call me crazy. Perhaps you could bring out a 'vintage' original edition some day.

on January 14, 2018

The new, "Original" wheat thins taste like cardboard. Deceptive marketing by Nabisco, labeling the box "Original". Shame on Nabisco.

on May 4, 2018

Hate them! Going to Ritz.

on May 25, 2018


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