As children, my sister and I sat at the formica table in our parents kitchen eating our snack of Pepperidge Farm Goldfish crackers and discussed false advertising. On the package, the goldfish had a smile. At that point we had eaten those delicious little fish for many years, each time carefully checking to see if we had hit the jackpot and gotten one with that all too rare smile.
We had innocently fully expected that some must have smiles, and had fun expecting to be the one who would get one. I remember clearly the day we decided that maybe none of the crackers actually had smiles. We were crestfallen and disillusioned, unaccustomed to being cynical.
So imagine my delight when those same goldfish started being manufactured with actual smiles! I was thrilled beyond reason. A troubling wrong from my childhood had been righted!
We too raised our kids on the whole grain version, and some blog readers will remember the photo below of our daughter in her freshman dorm with a multitude of colossal empty boxes of them.
So imagine my surprise when that same daughter’s Sunday School teacher, our church friend, and your fellow blog reader, casually mentioned her “claim to fame” at a going away party. Back in the day, she was the marketing person for Pepperidge Farm that gave goldfish their actual smiles!
It had apparently been discussed before, and not done, because the market was considered the whole family. They thought that giving them smiles would limit their appeal to only children. Our friend challenged that notion and worked with a machinist to see if smiles could be implemented. They could. She then forged ahead to market them with smiles, and to everyone’s astonishment their sales skyrocketed!
Again, it pleased me beyond reason that I actually knew the person that had enough vision, faith, and fun to put the smiles on those fish. We’ve been friends with this woman all this time but did not know this. Now she is moving out of state and we will miss her.
But every goldfish will now make us think of her… with a smile.