My love affair with Arnott’s goes way back, and I’ve had an affinity for Shapes as long as I can remember. Seriously, there is photographic evidence of this shit dating back to the eighties.
Can you picture it? A blue-eyed, blonde-haired 7 year old girl home sick from school, snug on the couch watching her VHS cassette of Watership Down for the hundredth time, all the while cradling a box of Shapes as though her life depended on it. And though I’m sure it’s likely you’re more concerned with my choice of daytime viewing, my point is that Arnott’s hooked me long ago and have somehow managed to keep their delicious, savoury claws in me for going on 25 years.
Many times I’ve wondered how they keep me coming back. Amazing flavour? Brilliant marketing? A secret-yet-repulsive ingredient like in Slurm from Futurama?
“Who cares” you might be thinking, “Big deal.” Well you see, it’s not so much the eating of the Shapes that bothers me. I’m not overweight. I’m reasonably healthy. No, it’s the fact that I simply cannot stop eating once I open the box. It’s a total case of ‘once you pop, you can’t stop’ syndrome, but with the wrong snack. Basically, if they’re open, they’re going down.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s not like I’ll eat just any old cracker; I’m an absolute stickler for the original range. Because really, who wants to eat guitar-shaped food? Not me.
So let’s look at the facts. According to Arnott’s, a box of Shapes* contains 6.4 serves. And let’s say in an average week I consume 2 boxes. That’s 12.8 serves per week. 1468 calories. 2636.8mg of salt. Clearly this goes against everything anyone knows about healthy eating, but for some reason I find myself powerless to stop.
I think I could even go so far as to say that there must be some sort of conspiracy going on between Arnott’s and the major supermarkets. They seem to be constantly on special for ridiculously low prices. $2 one week… $1.25 the next. Surely they aren’t making a profit? WHY ARE THEY DOING THIS TO ME?
Whatever they’re doing, it’s working. And I am just now—at the age of 32—coming to terms with the horrible (yet tasty) reality that I am indeed a hopeless addict. Yes, hopeless.
I joke constantly about writing a sternly-worded letter, demanding they cease manufacture. But deep down inside, I think we all know that’s not going to happen. You win, Arnott’s.
*Figures obtained from Arnott’s Savoury Shapes dietary information. Varies with other flavours.