To: Dean Foods Customer Service Dept.
From: Mark Rabinowitz
Subject: Melody Farms
Date: March 30, 2014
To whom it may concern:
What, exactly, did you do to Melody Farms?
Melody Farms was a Michigan-owned company for 60 years before Dean Foods bought it four years ago. I remember them from my childhood and thus considered it to be a brand I trusted for dairy products, especially milk and ice cream.
Yesterday, I came across a special at a local grocery store for Melody Farms’ “frozen dairy dessert” for $1.25 for a 1.75-quart container. I decided that even though “frozen dairy dessert” is not the same as “ice cream,” I’ve bought products from other companies that had to be called “frozen dairy desserts” because they did not qualify as “ice cream,” and didn’t have any serious issues with them. Furthermore, Melody Farms, as I’ve said, is a brand I remember favorably from my childhood, so I felt that I couldn’t go wrong.
I couldn’t have been more wrong. What I had was almost tasteless with no creamy texture. As a matter of fact, the “cookies & cream” variety had much more of a gritty texture.
I wondered just what I had bought, at which point I did something I should have done way back at the store, which was read the ingredients.
First ingredient: Not milk. WATER.
I was shocked. Last time I checked, water was never a dairy product, and never will be.
I realize that Dean Foods owns a number of different ice cream brands here in Michigan—Dean’s, Country Fresh, Stroh’s, and Sanders as well as Melody Farms. Having worked in market research in the past, I imagine that after acquiring Stroh’s, Sanders and Melody Farms, your marketing executives wanted to position each brand differently, and perhaps those executives decided that Melody Farms should be the brand for cheaper “frozen dairy desserts”. Even if my suppositions are wrong, at least they make sense.
What I don’t get is what I had for dessert earlier today. A “frozen dairy dessert” whose first ingredient is not a dairy product—that doesn’t make sense. I would call that disappointing.
In closing, I want you to re-evaluate the recipes you are using for all Melody Farms “frozen dairy desserts”. I would prefer that my last memory of Melody Farms be something better. I understand that there will be a market for people who wish to save money by buying a “frozen dairy dessert” instead of a more expensive ice cream. That does not give Dean Foods the right to serve anything that is extremely disrespectful to older Michigan consumers’ memories of—and trust in—Melody Farms products, and definitely not worthy of being called “frozen dairy desserts”.
Thank you in advance for your time and due consideration.