Dear Health Valley,

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hv_leadEditors Note: This is a real and actual letter that Jeff wrote out of anger to the Health Valley corporation. We all found it so hilarious that we thought it would be a great way to begin "The Week of Jeff". Enjoy.


Dear Health Valley,

I have one question for you. Do you feel guilty when you label a box you've filled with mostly rice-crispies with a few measly bits of oats, "granola?" Well, I for one feel pretty damned duped by your marketing ploy.

I recently bought a 12.5oz box of your "Date Almond Flavor Granola" at my local grocery store for $3.99. I am not a rich man, so it's always an internal battle for me to choose between a cheaper cereal such as Cheerios or its generic counterparts and a more quality breakfast food such as granola. I usually justify my choice of the more expensive granola because I feel better fed off of one solid, dense bowl of granola than I do off of two or three bowls of other cereals. So was my thinking when I picked up the box of your granola.

Upon opening the box I realized that, in fact, this box of "granola" was merely a clever attempt to pass off rice-crispies as a more expensive alternative. And how did it taste? In one word: horrendous. Instead of crunchy, dense, robust clusters of oat, honey and almond I had a loose slop of weak rice-flavored porridge. It was mushy even at the first bite, and it quickly contaminated my milk with a ricey-scum that only served to remind me what a bitter mistake I had made in buying your product. By the last bite it was impossible to tell where the milk ended and your "granola" began.


How could you call this granola, I wondered as I checked the box to see if I had misread the label. I read down the list of ingredients and realized that I had not been discerning enough before buying your product. It read in large print on the front "GRANOLA DATE ALMOND" and then in smaller font next to that was the word "flavor." That little word at the end should have been my clue that this was not what I had first guessed by the larger word "GRANOLA" that had caught my eye and landed your product in the same section of the store that carries real granola. Real granola, for your information, includes a few common ingredients: oats, honey, almonds, brown sugar, and maybe some wheat germ or vanilla or cinnamon. I looked at your ingredients and sure enough you had one of the main ones: oats. But from there it began to stray markedly from any granola I'd ever seen. After oats were dates (as advertised), cane juice(?), brown rice flower(?)… pear-pineapple juice(?)… brown rice syrup, etc. etc. You hadn't lied outright in calling it "almond flavor," since that was one of the last ingredients. As for the other ingredients, it was no wonder that the
cereal was so mushy so quickly, it had been flavored with fruit juices!


My point in all this is to notify you that as a consumer I do not appreciate attempts to water down a product, filling it with the cheapest possible fluff, and passing it off as a higher quality product at a premium price. I, for one, will pay even more for one of your competitor's brands of granola (a company that, like yours, attempts to create natural, non-GMO quality foods) because they actually sell a premium product for a premium price.

In the end I realized that I would never buy your product again. But was that enough? Not for me. I suppose it might be naïve to believe that anyone at Health Valley even reads these letters, but I needed to express my deep displeasure with such an unsatisfactory product. Please note that in writing this letter I am forwarding it on to many other people that I know in the hopes that they heed my warning.



Please do not attempt to mollify my outrage with more of your dubious products; I am inconsolable. I just want you to take to heart my comments, take a step away from your food stylists, and take a good hard look at a real granola recipe.




Most Sincerely,


Brooklyn, NY


Photos of Jeff by Jessica Sain

1 Comment

  • 1

    I say!

    Health Valley is both healthy and delicious, much in the same way that a valley truly is. Being aristocratic by birth and English by nature, I find your objections to Health Valley's hearty crunch and fibrous toothsomeness highly offensive. Furthermore, I find your complete disregard for honorificabilitudinitatibus -- on a personal level -- pubiglious and robspallious TO SAY THE LEAST.

    Your displeasure with cereals, muesli and Pop Tarts aside, you are a most decadent garrulous fellow and I bid thee GOOD DAY, sir.


    Carlton Hambleton De Stutevill Wong Garcia de Vargas Weathersteinburg

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