Behold the Round Saltine

Round Saltines have been showing up on supermarket shelves throughout New England.
After a century of quadrilaterality, Nabisco is test-marketing the new geometry. If it’s well received in the region, there could be a national roll out by the end of the year. This is no mere addition to the Saltine product line—the round crackers will replace the original squares.

Nabisco company spokesman Basil T. Maglaris calls the round crackers “relevant and contemporary.”
He seems to be missing the point.

Saltines are innocuous, familiar, and bland, which is precisely why we eat them. They’re the stuff of home remedies and kindergarten snacks. At restaurants we’ll crumble a cellophane two-pack into soups and stews, and at home we’ll eat them with peanut butter while we stand over the sink. Saltines are prescribed by doctors to ease nausea and settle an upset stomach, and they’re often the only food tolerated by pregnant women and anyone who wakes up with a hangover.

Cutting corners, both literal and figurative
On a pragmatic note, there’s the matter of the missing corners. The round crackers have a lot less area than the square ones, but there are no more of them in the box. The old 16 ounce package has been replaced by one that weighs a mere 10.5 ounces, but the retail price has stayed the same.

Nabisco has been strangely silent on the subject of the re-engineered crackers. There’s no advertising campaign or marketing promotion and the company didn’t issue the typical press releases. Not a twitter has been sent, and there is no round Saltine Facebook page for you to ‘like.’ Even the company website shows no trace of round Saltines.

By this time next year, the iconic, four-sided, salt-dimpled cracker might be history.

Nabisco’s Mr. Maglaris did say that concerned customers could contact the company’s hotline at 1-800-NABISCO.

13 Responses to Behold the Round Saltine

  1. Janice says:

    Is anyone happy with the new Saltines? I only hope that Nabisco is listening.

  2. stephen d lank says:

    I am grief stricken,just another big corporate decision to screw the customer!!
    My family and I grew up on the original and my grand children love the old square
    ones. The new ones taste like crap and the packaging is terrible—You have lost
    an old customer.

  3. DAVID says:

    PLEASE GIVE ME BACK MY OLD CRACKERS…..

  4. Al says:

    Bastards!!!!
    They have stuffed the shelves with these discs.
    I can’t get squares.
    Fuck Nabisco!!!

  5. sarah shrapnel says:

    i cut myself. often.

    throwin saltines into the mix till i think of somethin more depraved.

    love peace & war – sarah shrapnel

  6. Adam Kestian says:

    If Saltines turn round – will the planet become flat . . . feels that way.

    The ramifications of this are beyond Kraft’s comprehension.

    Maybe if u guys were still owned by British American Tobacco you would be more responsible.

    Don’t even try to think about it.

  7. Mary Canussus says:

    Great. My grandmother just died 4 day ago – Saltines were her FAVOURITE square crackers. Then I stumble across this. Do you WANT me to relapse?? I’m calling my dealer now. Do you think GOD wants this??

    I don’t care about anything anymore.

  8. Angus Tirptorg says:

    If saltines change perminently from square to circle i am going to be soooo depressed i will be simply unable to eat them anymore.

    I will eat little furry bunny rabbits that i will kill with my bare hands.

    As the whether or not i skin and cook them will be entirely dependant on how hungover / motivated / depressed I am.

    Your sincerely – Angus

  9. Janice says:

    Yeah, it’s been a long haul with those pesky square crackers–years of struggle with the separately packaged cracker stacks and the challenge of fitting the old box in my pantry….
    Strange reasons indeed.

  10. Steve says:

    Here is my response from Nabisco: VERY strange reasons they give….

    Thank you for visiting http://www.kraftfoods.com/.

    I’m sorry to hear about your experience with PREMIUM Original Saltine Crackers. Since we fell short of your expectations, I’m sending you a coupon as reimbursement via first class mail which you should receive within 7-10 business days.

    In March 2012, the Nabisco team decided to initiate an “in-market test” and change the shape of its PREMIUM brand saltines from square to round. This change was made for a variety of reasons:

    • Moving to this new saltine shape and new packaging format with a $2.49 Suggested Retail Price.
    • The new package makes it easier to eat them right out of the box.
    • The new box contains a single bag which is easier to open (and close).
    • The new box is easier to store in your pantry.
    • Still perfect with your favorite toppings, with soup or all by themselves.
    • Now great for entertaining.

    This test is occurring in the Metro New York and New England areas only. Once the test concludes in August, 2012, the Nabisco team will decide to keep the round saltine crackers in stores or revert back to the traditional square saltines.

    I hope this information is helpful, and again, I apologize for this experience. Thank you for your loyalty and we hope that your next experience is a good one.

    Kim McMiller
    Associate Director, Consumer Relations

  11. anita says:

    These new saltines are terrible. I was shocked when I went to the supermarket and found my favorite SQUARE crackers gone from the shelf replaced by these inferior round ones. Shame on you Nabisco. I will be changing to another cracker.

  12. Janice says:

    The company is fessing up to a little recipe tinkering, although they have provided no details. The round doesn’t help much.

  13. Nabisco Please take these new saltine, that taste like cardboard and put them where the sun don’t shine LOl We will never buy saltines again. They were terrible!!!!! We hope the birds like them better than we did. Patricia Bergeron

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