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Thanks for Nothing – Fall 2023

A few times a year we spotlight offers from companies that are real head-scratchers, are actually less generous than they appear, are just plain outrageous, or may simply elicit a chuckle. Here’s the new crop.

Shake ‘N Bake

It seems like skimpflation has hit the grocery shelf again. This time it’s Shake ‘N Bake. The product is well known for helping to make fried chicken by simply having you put the breading in a bag, adding chicken pieces, and then shaking and baking. Now they have made a significant change to the product.


Shake 'n Bake

They removed the always included bag saying it was an environmental move. The consumer who spotted this, Michael P., said in response to their claim, “All it means is they save money and the consumer has to use one of their own Ziploc or other plastic bags.”

Maybe they need to rename the product now to simply ‘N Bake. Thanks for nothing, Kraft Heinz.

Panera Contest

Mark D., a regular Consumer World reader, got some good news recently. He won a prize in a Panera promotion.

Panera prize

That’s pretty generous winning a $99 membership in their unlimited sip club. But then Mark figured out he had not actually won a prize worth $99 but rather he received a sale solicitation to buy a membership in the club for that price – a $20.99 discount from the usual $119.99 price.

Thanks for nothing, Panera. And please do consider dropping deceptive offers like this.

AfterPay Installment Plan

I know that grocery prices are high because of inflation and greedflation, but when you are even offered the option to put a package of beef stew on the installment plan, something is really wrong.


Buy now, pay later stew

Thanks for nothing, AfterPay.

Prices Gone Wild

Speaking of high prices and beef stew, things are really getting out of hand when you have to pay up to $750 for a single stew pot (and could really use an installment plan to finance it).

Le Creuset pot

And when it costs $39.99 for one package of toilet paper (and that is a Target sale price), something has really gone askew.

Price of Charmin

Thanks for nothing Williams Sonoma, Le Creuset and P&G.

If you find an ad suitable for inclusion in our “Thanks for Nothing” series, please send it to: edgar (at symbol) MousePrint.org . Thanks.

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9 thoughts on “Thanks for Nothing – Fall 2023”

  1. I do NOT need the plastic bags furnished (re: Shake and Bake). No, you can use paper bags– IMAGINE THAT! OR re-use a plastic bag (surely you know how to wash those shameful plastic bags.). OR you can even dust the pieces in your own pan or bowl. Sorry, I’m with Shake and Bake. Enough of plastics and extra packaging.

    • I am going to agree with Marj that you can use your own shaking device to coat the pieces of chicken with it which is not a bad thing. The price of the product is not going to go down though which is a bad thing.

      • The real issue is, if they were really concerned with the environment they wouldn’t have just eliminated the bags altogether and caused the consumer more inconvenience and money in the long run. They would have found a creative solution such as providing compostable plastic bags in the box, just cutting down the number of bags in the box to one, or providing one reusable bag. The way they have done this in such a lazy, effortless fashion gives away their true motives, which is to save themselves money, period. And they don’t even care if the consumer is inconvenienced or overcharged either. They think using the smokescreen of doing this in the name of being “environmentally friendly” is going to get people to buy that they are well intended. Too bad a lot of us out there aren’t so easily fooled.

    • I am going to disagree on the Shake n’ Bake plastic bag thing. I am a home cook from way back and go back to childhood with this product. When time is of the essence, nothing is going to compare with having a bag right there to use, and one that requires no special work to make it work either. Their bags were of a certain size and shape that made for the quickest and most even distribution of the crumbs. I have used other bags with this when I’ve run out of the ones supplied, and have found that for any number of reasons, whether it’s size, shape, material or weight, they do not work nearly as well and require more work to accomplish the same job even at that. And not using a bag defeats the purpose. It takes longer and makes for more cleanup. If you don’t care about convenience, fine, but then why are you buying Shake n’ Bake in the first place? And using a paper bag? Seriously? More breadcrumbs will end up smeared on the bag than on the meat itself. I know because I’ve tried it. Plus it just means that the consumer is forced to use another bag, probably a plastic one, so there won’t be that much of a decrease in plastic bag use overall. In this case their decision is a big miss and obviously designed as an excuse just to save them money at the expense of the convenience of the consumer. I will be surprised if it doesn’t impact sales of the product.

  2. I “won” the same thing from Panera. Because I understand that the legal definition of sweepstakes prize includes not having to pay anything, I filed a complaint with the FTC. I did notice that they now use the word “reward” instead of “prize.” I don’t live close enough to a Panera to take advantage of their coffee club. I wonder if membership has fallen off so much (or never became what they expected) that they have resorted to desperate (and deceptive) means to increase the enrollment.

  3. The Charmin’ deal really isn’t that bad, you get 24 super mega rolls for that price. But the 18 rolls for $27.99 is a better deal (1.55 a roll, as opposed to $1.66 a roll). I usually get it at Amazon or Target depending on which one has the lower price.

    I haven’t bought ‘Shake n Bake’ in 40 years, too salty & it has some strange flavors. It’s so much healthier & cheaper to make your seasonings.

  4. Who remembers the old joke of California being nicknamed the “shake & bake” state with its earthquakes and fires? As for this article, I quit buying Shake & Bake years ago and started using good ole bread crumbs especially the healthier panko crumbs and using a deep dish or pan for breading. You don’t need any bag especially plastic ones.

  5. Thanks for posting, Edgar. I did reach out to Panera about my concern about the promotion and they provided me with several coupons for free food. I’m overall satisfied with the compensation.

  6. Ah, the pesky plastic bag again… In May of 2022, single-use plastic bags were outlawed in my state. The grocery chains pushed hard for the ban, but it has had an unintended consequence: a dramatic increase in shoplifting. Removing the plastic bag from the Shake ‘N Bake kit makes the product virtually indistinguishable from a canister of seasoned breadcrumbs, which costs far, far less.

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