When we were growing up, our salads only knew two types of dressing: French and the make-it-yourself Good Seasons Italian. In purchasing the Good Seasons Italian Dressing packets, my father had the grocery store under his thumb for he knew the secret of the cruet!
On each of his four children’s thirteenth birthday, he would impart the secret of the Good Seasons Italian Dressing Cruet Kit to us. Now, I will share that secret with you.
Photo by Mike Hopkins
To get consumers hooked on their Italian Dressing packets, those crazy marketing folks over at Good Seasons packaged two packs of the dry dressing mix with a FREE cruet. I think “cruet” was second foreign word I learned right after “Irish Spring.” The cruet that came with the dressing had three convenient lines etched on it for easy construction of the Italian Dressing. First V for vinegar, then W for water and last O for oil. Fill each ingredient to its line (pour in the packet between the W and the O,) cap the lid and shake shake shake. In 1983, my brother was making the dressing and put the oil in first. The resulting explosion took off the east wing of our kitchen and Steve never heard the same out of his remaining ear.
The marketing folks assumed that you would by the cruet kit the first time and then buy the individual packets from then out. But they never calculated the my dad would figure out their little secret.
So back to my thirteenth birthday… after the cake and the gifts, dad took me into the kitchen and showed me the cruet kit and said, “When you buy the Italian dressing in the kit, they give you two packets of dressing and the cruet. If you buy the packets individually, THEY COST MORE PER PACK! When you buy the kit, you are getting the packets cheaper AND a free cruet.” It was then that I noticed the third shelf up in our dishware cabinet was filled with cruets. The everything drawer teemed with the plastic lids. Week by week and cruet by cruet, my father was slowly putting the Good Seasons people out of business.
Just the other day at Kroger’s, I took these photos. I’ll help with the math:
$2.79 or $1.395 per packet
Individual dressing packet
$1.59 per packet
A savings of $.195 per packet. I figure in my father’s lifetime, he has saved about $25,345. That’s almost enough to cover the by-pass surgery! He’s also got a basement full of cruets and no other glassware to be found in the house.
As for me? I have saved $1.17 because as soon as Miss Sally noticed what I was doing, she shut down the cruet purchases and made me spend the extra twenty cents to buy the packets individually sans cruet. Miss Sally runs a tight ship.
I can’t wait for my kids to turn thirteen.
A lot of people find this site because they are searching for replacement lids or cruet kits. If I was smart, I would sell them from this site and make a billion dollars. But I am not smart. If you want to buy the kits on line, look here at Net Grocer.
If you want to complain about why Good Seasons is no longer in your local store, write and/or all here:
Kraft Foods Global, Inc.
Global Consumer Relations
1 Kraft Court
Glenview, IL 60025
Good luck. Please tell them I said, "Howdy!"