Irritated With Pillsbury

Baking By Danielle1218 Updated 6 Jan 2014 , 1:14pm by mercycake

inspiredbymom Posted 18 Jul 2012 , 9:46pm
post #31 of 84

I just got off the phone with Pillsbury c/s. They took down my information about the problems that are happening with the new formula. I would say that they need good feedback from everyone. If you call them, don't be rude, be nice. Share your experiences, not blow off steam. It may get nowhere or they could actually see that they don't need to go the way of BC or other brands. I saw somewhere that Pillsbury needs to do what Coke did when they tried to reformulate. They changed back and apologized for ruining a good thing. I would personally pay a little more for my 3 oz back of the old Pillsbury! If anything, they should make the old formula available to people for special order or something! I am also going to call the numbers that she gave me for larger quantities to try. I'll see what happens!

Danielle1218 Posted 19 Jul 2012 , 1:21am
post #32 of 84

That is a good idea. I was actually thinking of writing a letter (not a nasty one, but one to get my point across) and send to all Pillsbury, BC and DH.

I was actually hoping that if enough people voice a concern they would go back to the old way. I would much rather pay more money for 3 ounces than go to all this hassel to try to refigure a box mix.

Also wondered if anyone tried this......I prefer Pillsbury and I have noticed that the batter is REALLY THICK now. I wonder what would happen if we put in about 3 tbsp more of water???? Anyone tried that? I think I might.....and if I draft up a letter to the "BIG 3", I will pass it along if anyone else would like to jump on the band wagon.

inspiredbymom Posted 19 Jul 2012 , 2:27pm
post #33 of 84

The C/S person stated to me three times actually, not to deviate from the recipe. It sounds to me that they are having some issues with this and are trying to figure out why things are going wrong. Maybe it worked well in a controlled environment, but not in the real world. I also read some posts from people that their comments posted on FB about the new mix have been deleted so that may not be a good place to voice concerns either.

kelleym Posted 19 Jul 2012 , 3:32pm
post #34 of 84
Quote:
Originally Posted by inspiredbymom

The C/S person stated to me three times actually, not to deviate from the recipe. It sounds to me that they are having some issues with this and are trying to figure out why things are going wrong. Maybe it worked well in a controlled environment, but not in the real world. I also read some posts from people that their comments posted on FB about the new mix have been deleted so that may not be a good place to voice concerns either.



So they advise you not to doctor the recipe? Way to go, Pillsbury.

inspiredbymom Posted 19 Jul 2012 , 4:20pm
post #35 of 84

Sort of yes. It sounds like they are tying to weed out variables until they pinpoint why this is happening to the product out in the real world. They wanted to know if I changed anything. They they said that they recommend not deviating from the directions. Of course, I don't bake at the heat that they recommend either. I think that they are info gathering right now. There are many people out there who depend on Pillsbury's products that don't just look at the price on the shelf or don't care about the performance of a product. The performance of the product is WHY Pillsbury BECAME my go to cake or base cake, if I doctored it. I LOVED the flavor, the crumb, well, everything about the product and (although I hate to admit it) I am not a person who likes to eat cake! Anyway, I hope everybody takes a moment to call them or to send them an email. They truly need to know that change is not always a good thing. Gee, look at Netflix and the market share they lost! Look at Coke. People are not as devoted to products anymore. They are not as forgiving. If their products change and they don't like it, they move on. I know that I will have to and it makes me very sad. I counted on them and they let me down.

jason_kraft Posted 19 Jul 2012 , 4:40pm
post #36 of 84

I think the issue here is that there are two primary target markets for cake mixes: consumers who are looking to make cheap and easy cakes, and businesses that rely on mixes to help lower costs. The manufacturers are probably expecting businesses to buy bulk cake mixes (which are still 50#) instead of individual boxes, as the latter product is aimed at consumers who typically don't deviate from the instructions on the box.

There's no doubt a market exists for businesses that doctor mixes but are not yet big enough to buy in bulk, the question is if that market is big enough to abandon the low-end consumer market by increasing the package size and shelf price (probably not), or if another product can be introduced catering to this market (an open question considering the R&D/packaging/manufacturing overhead of a new product, not to mention the shelf placement fees per SKU).

General Mills (Pillsbury) actually does have a smaller 5# package of "professional" cake mix under the Gold Medal brand, but I'm not sure if you can buy them individually.

http://www.professionalbakingsolutions.com/product/gold-medal-cake-mix-5-lb-yellow-zt/11152000?mct=Mix&ct=cake-mix&typ=Category

EDIT: Apparently you can buy them individually:
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00469VDTI/?tag=cakecentral-20

inspiredbymom Posted 19 Jul 2012 , 4:54pm
post #37 of 84

Yes, there is a 5#, they gave me a number to talk to them. I never crossed over to bulk because I wasn't sure if the product would be the same. One of my box suppliers also carries the bigger (25# & 50# ) size bags but I didn't want to sink that much $$ into something that may not be the same. I will be looking into that next week. I still wish that they would make the 18.25 that can be ordered like the 5#. I always order my boxes by the case. I just ordered 6 last month and so I was not aware that they were going to change. Now I'm on the hot seat to find a replacement before I am out. I don't have too much time to play.

kelleym Posted 19 Jul 2012 , 6:46pm
post #38 of 84

Although I've never tried the bulk mixes, I have seen posts here from others who have tried them and said they are not the same.

Does this link work? A Dallas cake club member did a side-by-side comparison of new Pillsbury and old Pillsbury, along with a store brand. https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10151094383581974&set=oa.10151025399059329&type=1&theater

inspiredbymom Posted 19 Jul 2012 , 7:06pm
post #39 of 84

The link does work. I just wish the people who need to see this (CEO's) will and take it to heart. I now have a DH (I thought they went to 15.25 too???) and a HyVee brand 18.25 that I picked up sitting here waiting for some free time and Guinea pigs......icon_wink.gif

Danielle1218 Posted 19 Jul 2012 , 9:12pm
post #40 of 84

I am going to start buying store brand mixes if they are still 18.25 oz. To hell with all these other companies.....it just irritates me that they would do this.

"If it ain't broke.............don't fix it"

cutthecake Posted 19 Jul 2012 , 9:59pm
post #41 of 84

A letter-writing (not e-mail, but real mail) campaign is an excellent idea. I think the big companies will pay more attention to people who actually take the time to write letters.
The squeaky wheel........

jason_kraft Posted 19 Jul 2012 , 10:04pm
post #42 of 84
Quote:
Originally Posted by Danielle1218

I am going to start buying store brand mixes if they are still 18.25 oz. To hell with all these other companies.....it just irritates me that they would do this.



It's only a matter of time before store brands make the same change, the manufacturers of store brands are under the same price pressures as brand names.

If you're going to change your recipes, you might as well switch to a mix focused on the commercial/professional market.

gatorcake Posted 19 Jul 2012 , 11:07pm
post #43 of 84
Quote:
Originally Posted by inspiredbymom

The C/S person stated to me three times actually, not to deviate from the recipe. It sounds to me that they are having some issues with this and are trying to figure out why things are going wrong. Maybe it worked well in a controlled environment, but not in the real world. I also read some posts from people that their comments posted on FB about the new mix have been deleted so that may not be a good place to voice concerns either.




Or more like they are telling people that their product bakes as intended when you use the mix as intended. Poor results when the box is used as intended are certainly the fault of Pillsbury. However doctoring is a different animal. Whether or not small businesses are buying bundles of boxes and doctoring them is frankly irrelevant. Their mixes are not produced to be doctored. They are not marketed that way, nor where they designed that way.

That some enterprising individuals discerned how to doctor their previous formulas is irrelevant. The prior formula was not intended to be doctored either. That someone did it does not mean these companies should predicate their changes on the potential of someone else to use the product in a way other than intended. If folks want to doctor the new formulas then as with the prior formula people need to figure out how to successfully doctor these new formulas.

It is not Pillsbury's, DH's, or BC's fault that people are no longer able to successfully doctor their mixes. This is no different than someone who blames a scratch recipe for poor results when they do not follow the recipe.

kelleym Posted 19 Jul 2012 , 11:25pm
post #44 of 84

Just to clarify, the photos in the link I posted are cakes made exactly as per the instructions on the back of the box. Over-leavened, full of holes. It IS Pillsbury/GM's fault if they have re-formulated their successful cake mix into something that does not produce a desirable result when used as directed.

inspiredbymom Posted 19 Jul 2012 , 11:34pm
post #45 of 84

Gatorcake: I understand what you are saying, however, in this case, the cake was not doctored. They are full of big air holes and do not produce the same great results that we expect and depend on from Pillsbury. However, even people who have doctored the cakes should be able to use their favorite box mix that they have been using for years. Yes, there are going to have to be changes made, but when the company tries to sell the "changes" as "nothing new here", "same great product" and it clearly isn't, people are going to be upset. If they don't know that people are not embracing their latest and greatest, how are the CEO's going to make competent decisions about what their customers want? Even people who doctor cakes are customers are they not? Maybe it would even help if they had a "recipe" on their site on how to "doctor" their cake to make it what it used to be? They have all types of recipes on how to use their products in other ways. Just a thought.

jason_kraft Posted 19 Jul 2012 , 11:45pm
post #46 of 84
Quote:
Originally Posted by inspiredbymom

Yes, there are going to have to be changes made, but when the company tries to sell the "changes" as "nothing new here", "same great product" and it clearly isn't, people are going to be upset.



Has Pillsbury actually tried to sell the changes using these claims? When product shrinkage occurs the manufacturer rarely calls attention to the change.

For the primary target market of this product, a less dense cake is probably just fine.

kelleym Posted 20 Jul 2012 , 12:32am
post #47 of 84
Quote:
Originally Posted by jason_kraft


For the primary target market of this product, a less dense cake is probably just fine.



On what facts do you base this remark? Did you look at the photo of the cake full of uneven wormholes? It's not "less dense", it's defective, in my opinion.

jason_kraft Posted 20 Jul 2012 , 12:32am
post #48 of 84
Quote:
Originally Posted by kelleym

Quote:
Originally Posted by jason_kraft


For the primary target market of this product, a less dense cake is probably just fine.


On what facts do you base this remark? Did you look at the photo of the cake full of uneven wormholes? It's not "less dense", it's defective, in my opinion.



I based my remark on my opinion, just as you did.

inspiredbymom Posted 20 Jul 2012 , 12:33am
post #49 of 84

No, the box shows no indication that it has changed. But if you put something different on the market and do not inform your customers of the change, you are in essence saying that it is the "same" great product you have always used. When you ask them about it, they say that there should be no difference, yet there is. You only notice it after you used their product and it has failed. Then your customer feels cheated out of their money. As far as Pillsbury itself, they told me that they are still "working on" the product issues and are trying to get feedback. That's why they ask for all of the variables. They need to know how their product is reacting in all scenarios. I'm sure that is why they are asking for the feedback and it should be honest feedback. I have no problem with other Pillsbury products and I will continue to use them. I just will not use the box cake mix as my "go to" product when I finish with the cases that I have. It is also my job as a consumer to let a company know what my feelings are (not rudely of course) about their products. I personally call my clients if I have not received an unsolicited feedback from them to see if what they received from me is what was expected. It is how I know if I am doing a good job or not. However, my situation is different and I don't expect Pillsbury to do that. Nobody would. Contacting them is how they know. Most people will not even take the time to let them know. They just walk away with their money. I've done it many times with other places. Please do not take my comments wrong. I'm just trying to get people to understand the importance of contacting the company so they have a clue as to what is happening. That way they can either change back or give us another option while leaving the other on the shelf for their "target market". If you think about it though, why would that market want an inferior product? Pillsbury just needs to know........

cakesbycathy Posted 20 Jul 2012 , 12:34am
post #50 of 84

This doesn't help everyone, but Aldi's cake mixes are still 18 oz. They work fine, as is or doctored thumbs_up.gif

kelleym Posted 20 Jul 2012 , 12:36am
post #51 of 84
Quote:
Originally Posted by jason_kraft

Quote:
Originally Posted by kelleym

Quote:
Originally Posted by jason_kraft


For the primary target market of this product, a less dense cake is probably just fine.


On what facts do you base this remark? Did you look at the photo of the cake full of uneven wormholes? It's not "less dense", it's defective, in my opinion.


I based my remark on my opinion, just as you did.



The difference being, I am only speaking for myself. You are speaking for an entire "target market".

jason_kraft Posted 20 Jul 2012 , 12:41am
post #52 of 84
Quote:
Originally Posted by kelleym

Quote:
Originally Posted by jason_kraft

Quote:
Originally Posted by kelleym

Quote:
Originally Posted by jason_kraft


For the primary target market of this product, a less dense cake is probably just fine.


On what facts do you base this remark? Did you look at the photo of the cake full of uneven wormholes? It's not "less dense", it's defective, in my opinion.


I based my remark on my opinion, just as you did.


The difference being, I am only speaking for myself. You are speaking for an entire "target market".



Again, I'm stating my opinion that most people who buy these cake mixes probably won't care that the cakes are less dense. I'm not trying to speak for anyone else, and of course I could be wrong, but my opinion is what it is.

As a consumer I didn't think that the picture you linked to looked defective. Different, yes, but if you want a guarantee of consistency you should be buying mixes targeted at professionals.

gatorcake Posted 20 Jul 2012 , 3:30am
post #53 of 84
Quote:
Originally Posted by inspiredbymom

Gatorcake: I understand what you are saying, however, in this case, the cake was not doctored. They are full of big air holes and do not produce the same great results that we expect and depend on from Pillsbury.




Which is why I started by noting that if the new product is a failure when used as intended then yes Pillsbury is at fault.

Quote:
Originally Posted by inspiredbymom

However, even people who have doctored the cakes should be able to use their favorite box mix that they have been using for years. . . . Even people who doctor cakes are customers are they not?




If I miss something by ellipsing your message (I am not interested in how they pass off the change but the implications of the change) my apologies. The answer to whether or not people who doctor should be able to enjoy their favorite mix---the answer is no. Why? Because the doctorers choose to use a product in a manner other than intended. As such they have no claim on the producers for choosing to alter their product for its intended use.

For whatever reason (escalating costs, new production methods, new ingredients, desire to expand profits) these companies believe they can create the same volume of a final product from a smaller sized mix. They simply cannot account for every possible way individuals have chosen to doctor their mixes. They need to account for the forces that influence the product as it is intended to be used.

In addition they gain nothing from the doctoring process. The addition of other ingredients does little for them. They would rather see individuals use another mix--rather than see them add additional flour, sugar etc. People are going to use mixes, they want people using mixes--as many as possible.

Finally they have little interest in people "altering" their product by adding ingredients as it implies their mix is insufficient.

Why not then simply leave it the same? Because something lead them to believe this change was better for their bottom line.

When you use a product other than intended you are at the mercy of changes when producers decide to alter the product for whatever reason. Any number of factors can lead to changes in a product, it frankly is up to doctorers to adapt if they wish to continue to doctor mixes.

inspiredbymom Posted 20 Jul 2012 , 6:12am
post #54 of 84

Well, gatorcake, on the last point I guess we agree to disagree......

kelleym Posted 20 Jul 2012 , 1:59pm
post #55 of 84
Quote:
Quote:

As a consumer I didn't think that the picture you linked to looked defective. Different, yes, but if you want a guarantee of consistency you should be buying mixes targeted at professionals.



I guess we'll agree to disagree, because in my opinion, the average consumer is entitled to a consistent product.

gatorcake Posted 20 Jul 2012 , 2:38pm
post #56 of 84
Quote:
Originally Posted by jason_kraft


Again, I'm stating my opinion that most people who buy these cake mixes probably won't care that the cakes are less dense. I'm not trying to speak for anyone else, and of course I could be wrong, but my opinion is what it is.

As a consumer I didn't think that the picture you linked to looked defective. Different, yes, but if you want a guarantee of consistency you should be buying mixes targeted at professionals.




There is a difference between being less dense and looking like swiss cheese. I have not seen the new boxes but I bet the image of the cake on the front of the box looks nothing like the image Kellym posted. Jason you seriously underestimate the average consumer. The average consumer will care if the product they are being advertised looks nothing like the finished product.

When most people imagine cake, they do not image a cake full of large holes. Having had conversations the past few days with "average" consumers about cakes we have been eating they most certainly aware of what even decent cake (whether mix or scratch) should look like. Even average consumers could tell that mix produces poor results simply based on what they have eaten in the past -- whether mix or scratch. Good cake in not riddled with large holes. The cake looks more like bread than cake with all the varying sized holes.

jason_kraft Posted 20 Jul 2012 , 3:31pm
post #57 of 84
Quote:
Originally Posted by gatorcake

I have not seen the new boxes but I bet the image of the cake on the front of the box looks nothing like the image Kellym posted. Jason you seriously underestimate the average consumer. The average consumer will care if the product they are being advertised looks nothing like the finished product.



They haven't cared so far, because the picture on the box looks nothing like either the 18.25oz cake or the 15.25oz cake.

http://www.walmart.com/ip/Pillsbury-Moist-Supreme-Premium-Classic-Yellow-Cake-Mix-15.25-oz/21096195

jason_kraft Posted 20 Jul 2012 , 3:37pm
post #58 of 84
Quote:
Originally Posted by kelleym

Quote:
Quote:

As a consumer I didn't think that the picture you linked to looked defective. Different, yes, but if you want a guarantee of consistency you should be buying mixes targeted at professionals.


I guess we'll agree to disagree, because in my opinion, the average consumer is entitled to a consistent product.



To clarify my point, the primary attributes of cake mixes sold to consumers at grocery stores are low cost and ease of use. Contrast this with mixes sold to professional customers, where consistency is more critical and is a higher priority than keeping costs down.

kelleym Posted 20 Jul 2012 , 4:16pm
post #59 of 84
Quote:
Originally Posted by jason_kraft

Quote:
Originally Posted by kelleym

Quote:
Quote:

As a consumer I didn't think that the picture you linked to looked defective. Different, yes, but if you want a guarantee of consistency you should be buying mixes targeted at professionals.


I guess we'll agree to disagree, because in my opinion, the average consumer is entitled to a consistent product.


To clarify my point, the primary attributes of cake mixes sold to consumers at grocery stores are low cost and ease of use. Contrast this with mixes sold to professional customers, where consistency is more critical and is a higher priority than keeping costs down.



All cake mixes are easy, therefore "ease of use", in my opinion, can be struck from "primary attributes", as it is the common denominator. In my opinion, the "primary attributes" are taste (quality) and low cost.The average consumer probably doesn't make cakes often enough to know the differences between mix brands, or even notice that there has been a size/formula change. I suspect they buy based on cost and attractiveness of the packaging, because that's how I used to buy, back in the day.

Inspiredbymom, I'm glad the Pillsbury rep was conciliatory on the phone, and I'm certainly not one to tell people that they can't make a difference, but I think this is a done deal. The Betty Crocker switch more than a year ago was the shot over the bow. From General Mills' perspective, the switch must have been successful, because they didn't revert to the old size/formula, instead they switched Pillsbury as well. It's very disappointing.

inspiredbymom Posted 20 Jul 2012 , 8:32pm
post #60 of 84

Kelleym, what is more disappointing is that I called one of the number that was given to me by the CS rep. One, they told me to find a distributor to buy the bulk product from.....duh, if I had one here, I would talk to them. The closest one I know of is 3 hours away! All I wanted was a sample to see if I liked it. I'm not ready to order 50 #'s of something that is nasty. They also said that this new place took over Pillsbury cake line for the bulk and tweaked it to their liking. Again, why mess with a good thing? Now I really don't know what to do. I have read on here that you can get samples but I can't get any info on where to get them. Any suggestions?

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