Home News Bugles have disappeared from Canadian stores, sending fans searching for a salty alternative

Bugles have disappeared from Canadian stores, sending fans searching for a salty alternative

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cost of life8:54Pugliese’s last letter

The disappearance of hornbeam, an ingredient used in many holiday recipes, has led some Canadians to look for alternatives to the delicious, crunchy corn snack.

The trumpet was still sold in the United States, but was discontinued in Canada for several months. This is one of the new products that American food manufacturers no longer sell here.

General Mills, the US company that makes the trumpet, did not return calls or emails from CBC, but it has responded to hundreds of customers on Twittersaying she hopes Canadians can “find a tasty alternative elsewhere”.

This alternative can be found in the snack aisle of your local Asian supermarket, according to Canadian Bugles fans on Reddit. it’s called Tongan corn Salty, crunchy cornmeal in the shape of a horn has been prepared by House Foods in Japan since the 1970s.

Tongari corn tastes very much like hornbeam, which is no longer sold in Canada. The Japanese snack is sold in many Asian grocery stores across the country. (Daniel Nierman/CBC)

For the past few weeks, this umami shop in Lethbridge, Alta., has been bringing in customers daily asking to use the “Japanese horn” in their homemade nut-and-bolts recipes, says owner Patricia Low.

“We only have one bag left,” she said.

With supplies running low, Low ordered more Japanese corn snacks from his supplier in Vancouver. She says she got her “last six”.

An umami shop in lethbridge, alta., sells a variety of japanese snacks, including tongari corn. (Provided by Umami Store)

Loch Willie bought Tongarian corn from four Asian grocery stores in Saskatoon, but it was completely sold out.

Canada Radio cost of life He found and shipped a bag in Calgary so he could test out the alleged Bugles alternative alongside the original snacks. Willie had three bags of Puggles in his possession thanks to his snowbird parents who brought them back in their luggage from Arizona.

He uses Willie Bugles to make nuts and bolts every Christmas and says his family recipe couldn’t be made without him.

“They have this distinctive conical shape, they’re the finger cap. Honestly, if we had grown up and they didn’t exist, we would have noticed it and thought, Why? Where’s the trumpet?”

Willie is an Aboriginal artist, advisor and Boggs fan. (submitted by Loch Willy)

When Willy and his daughter, Kiara, ripped up two different corn snacks, they were surprised at how similar the two products were.

“I was skeptical, but wow! said Willie.” I think most people don’t know the difference. »

After several tastings, Willys concluded that the Tongari corn was slightly ‘spicier’ than Bugles but had a similar texture. All in all, a “good replacement” for all the nuts and bolts recipes.

“Japanese hornbills seem to save Christmas,” Willie said.

Buglis isn’t the only American snack leaving Canada

Over the past five years, Canada has also lost other US products such as Scoopy peanut butterRagu pasta sauce Raisins and nuts.

Bagel Bites, a Kraft Heinz product, disappeared last month, along with Cosmic Brownies, Oatmeal Cream Pies, and Swiss Rolls—an entire line of Little Debbie packaged candy, made by McKee Foods Corporation. In an emailed statement, a company spokesperson told CBC that the decision to “stop selling” Little Debbie candy was not made by the brand itself but rather by its Canadian distributor.

When it comes to distribution, Canada is a “very expensive” place to do business, says Jean Cornell, professor of marketing at UBC Sauder School of Business. As a large, sparsely populated country, Cornell said it is costly for companies to ship products from coast to coast.

There are requirements to translate the packaging into French and English. This increases the cost of American brands, so sometimes the decision is to discontinue these products. »

A close-up of tongari corn, left, shows how similar the Japanese snack is to bugle, something often used in nuts and bolts—a crunchy and salty snack recipe many Canadians make during the holidays. (Daniel Nierman / Lake Willie)

Contest in the snack section

Another reason Bugles may exit the Canadian market is that the snack has faced stiff competition from store-owned brands like President’s Choice, Kirkland Signature, and Great Value.

as she put it Annual Report 2022Most General Mills products compete with “generally low-priced generic and private label products” and suggest that economic uncertainty may cause some consumers to buy more store-bought brands.

“Under these circumstances, we may see a decline in sales of higher-margin products or a shift in our product mix to lower-margin offerings,” the report said.

Every major grocery store in Canada has its own brand, if not several. A Sobeys spokesperson said the company adds hundreds of new products every year under its Compliments brand. Western Canadian grocer Calgary Co-op launched its store brands—Founders & Farmers and Cal & Gary’s—three years ago and already has more than 1,000 products on shelves.

An aisle of potato chips at a supermarket in Calgary on December 14, 2022.
The Calgary store’s snack aisle has a large section dedicated to its own brand, “No Name.” (Daniel Nierman/CBC)

“In the past, private labels were cheap copies or knockoffs of a well-known brand at a lower price and possibly lower quality,” Cornell said. “But that is no longer the case. Now, a private label can compete with national brands, even at the high end, even when it comes to satisfying niche segments of consumers.”

The snack aisle, in particular, is where shoppers will find a variety of store-owned products—from low-salt potato chips and sea salt to gluten-free crackers and vegan crackers—and enjoy delicious snacks. Superior storage space.

Cornell says this is intentional and is just a strategy Canadian grocery stores use to encourage shoppers to choose their own brands instead of brands like Ruffles, Lays and Bugles.

Private label brands are generally less expensive because grocery chains have economies of scale — they place bulk orders for all of their stores, which allows them to negotiate lower prices with the manufacturers that make their products.

And as inflation continues to rise, Canadians are increasingly turning to house brands.

“Almost everyone buys private label groceries at some point,” said Brian Aitken of Numerator Canada. The latest figures from the market research firm show that compared to 2021, private label grocery store sales in Canada are up 4% this year.

Choose “healthy” snacks.

It is possible that Canadians are not gay anymore. America’s #1 finger guard. Hooters have been around since the 1960s, and Cornell says tastes have changed since then.

“For snacks, it’s an interesting market because there’s a shift in demand for healthy, natural foods and less processed foods. And you see that sometimes a lot of these brands are 50-70 years old and they obviously don’t respond to the new ones, so I have Companies and manufacturers have the option to completely reformulate their products or discontinue use in certain markets.

Jan Cornell teaches Marketing and Behavioral Sciences at the University of British Columbia's Saud School of Business.
Jean Cornell, who studies marketing and behavioral sciences at the University of British Columbia’s Saud School of Business, says consumer demand is shifting toward healthier, less processed snacks. (submitted by UBC)

This isn’t the first time Bogles has been arrested north of the border. It happened in 2010 and the snack returned to Canada a year later.

This gives Bugles fans like Willy hope, but in the meantime he’s finding other ways to get his salty corn snack. Whether it was buying bags of corn or driving his parents’ car to Saskatchewan from Arizona.

“I already told them, ‘If you don’t want to drive home, I’ll take a plane and bring your car back. But I’ll fill it to the horn for everyone.’”


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