Burn the Candy Store!

2016-09-25 08:01

The sugar world has been left reeling with the announcement that Quality Street has made the decision to halt production of one of their toffee candies. Global media reacted immediately with the horrific news covered by no less than BBC World yesterday. The report describes in shocking and graphic detail the decision taken by Quality Street on the cusp of it’s 80th birthday. As it enters into its dotage, it would seem, greater sensitivity is to it to be considered for those whose teeth might not be their own.

Global consumers, stunned by the unexpected announcement have taken to social media as they grapple to find a suitable response to the crises. A question of whether petitions, sharply worded letters or whether a boycott of the “Honeycomb Crunch” which is said to replace the toffee have all been contemplated. To date none have had the stickiness required for such a campaign.

South African consumers however, considered a slightly more aggressive approach. The idea of burning sweet shops was debated and then discarded because some stores also sell air time, whilst burning libraries, always considered an excellent option was thought to be less than ideal. Primarily because the best ones had already been taken. Or burned; in other protests prior to this current outrage.

The only alternative has to be to bring the company to its knees so that it is no longer able to produce any sweets at all.

Which, all things considered, might leave South Africans at a distinct disadvantage. Because whereas everyone sympathizes with the scores of children who are set to grow up without the toffee in their Street, one does wonder if it serves its purpose to destroy every bit of Quality.

The decimation of the factory that produces these candies would no doubt deliver a message that cannot be ignored (much like a petrol bomb or two on campus) but one has to wonder if this is the smartest way to get one’s message across or to establish much needed sympathy for the cause. One has to believe that the smart people who run the company understand the many complexities around making a decision that will affect the next generation of sweet-eaters. And even if they are firmly ensconced in their ivory tower, considering that they are deeply dependent on their consumer, one would think that the live every day trying to balance the needs.

Much like the current spate of Student Protests. The discussion and debate around “free tertiary education” is critical and vital and has to be had. But burning and bombing the very place you want to access, is not only counter intuitive, but properly stupid. It does more damage than good for the cause. And it doesn’t take a higher education to know that.

Student protest is important and part of growing up. Of course, much like the ANCYL many of whose members seem to not be youthful at all, one does have to be more suspicious of students on Zimmer- fames (metaphorically speaking). With some student leaders rapidly descending into middle age, and looking for a political hat stand on which to rest their head-gear, one has to be very careful that the students themselves (the young ones) don’t become discarded along with the sweet wrappers.

We live in an age of moral outrage. An age then pretty much everything offends us and everything needs consultation. But sometimes we have to accept that even if we want the toffee, that maybe we just can’t have it right now.

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