I am devastated about ginger nuts. You know, the ones you have to ask for by name.
In spite of the old jingle, they do NOT taste the same!
We bought a packet after a long gap. (Usually either Grannie makes scones or Grandad bakes a fruit cake or a batch of anzac biscuits). They were thinner, narrower, and not the same rich ginger colour. And they did not taste anything like the full, rich ginger flavour I remember.
Perhaps worst of all, they are no longer as hard as they used to be. And that could be very dangerous. Following Queen Victoria’s example, people have always dunked their ginger nuts in their tea. If they are not really hard, as in the old days, they might collapse during the dunking procedure and spill the tea everywhere!
The ginger nut makers have sacked their engineers who know about stresses, their precision instrument technicians who measure sizes and quantities of ingredients, and their designers who know about colours and shades.
And they made all these changes without consulting the consumers who, as everyone knows, are always right.
Where, I ask, is the Consumer Affairs Ministry when you need them, and the Consumers’ Institute?
And there is another problem. Petrol, which is not as serious as ginger nuts, but it’s pretty important stuff.
In our part of the country it is expensive. We learned recently that just down the road is a city where petrol is something like 10 cents a litre cheaper all the time.
Why, I hear you ask. Because there they have Gull, competing with the Big Four oil companies, whereas here they are no Gull stations.
The Government can tell us the petrol market is competitive, but it doesn’t look like it where we live.
So again we have to ask: where is the Ministry of Consumer Whatsits, and where is the Consumers’ Institute?
Because while some people may have the leisure to travel to another town for better petrol prices, or to change brands for better quality ginger nuts, that is not possible for many older and disabled people and family carers, who have are time poor, may not have transport to make such choices, and are cash-strapped enough as it is!
Frank Gaze is a writer, blogger and octogenarian who often writes about ageing and caring issues.